Lesotho’s history has long been defined by its enclave status within South Africa, but it is a hard-fought and hard-won status that helps unite Basotho through the shared history of struggle against colonial rule in the region. Since the end of apartheid in 1994, Lesotho’s status as a separate entity has been called into question though the fierce national pride built through centuries of resistance to outside rule has mitigated against any serious discussions of incorporating Lesotho into South Africa. Still, the political instability and lack of a flourishing domestic economy have made life difficult for the majority of Basotho and could call into question the viability and legitimacy of the state in the eyes of its citizens if it cannot enact significant reforms in the coming decades.
Historical Dictionary of Lesotho, Third Edition contains a chronology, an introduction, and an extensive bibliography. The dictionary section has more than 500 cross-referenced entries on important personalities as well as aspects of the country’s politics, economy, foreign relations, religion, and culture. This book is an excellent resource for students, researchers, and anyone wanting to know more about Lesotho.
John Aerni-Flessner is an associate professor of history in the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities at Michigan State University (Research Fellow in the Department of History in the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein. He has published on Basotho history, focusing on development, decolonization, and the history of the Lesotho-South Africa border.
Charles Fogelman is a teaching assistant professor in the Global Studies Program at the University of Illinois. He is a geographer whose research focuses on land, gender, and development.
Nthabiseng Mokoena-Mokhali is a lecturer in the Department of Historical Studies at the National University of Lesotho where she teaches in the Archaeology, Heritage and Cultural Studies and Environmental History Majors. Her archaeological research has been centered on Thaba Bosiu and she is a board member for the Royal Museum of Lesotho as well as a research associate for the University of the Witwatersrand.
Acronyms and Abbreviations
Genealogy of the Kings of Lesotho
Lesotho’s Heads of Government (1965–2022)
About the Authors