‘A just biography of an important figure—political philosopher, soldier in three wars, scientist, statesman—Jan Smuts, who has played a long and decisive role in the formation and consolidation of South Africa. Masterful, energetic, intolerant, often highhanded, Smuts has never been a popular leader, but never once did he deviate from his conception of a united South Africa within the British Empire. Before his Premiership and after, he was to fight steadily against the opposition, the Nationalists, who demanded complete severance from Britain. Other problems of the Indians, of labor rebellion, of industrial unrest, objectively presented. During the First World War, his ruthless leadership in action in East Africa; his important part in world affairs as representative in the British War Cabinet; and later his plan for the League of Nations. He fell from power in 1924, as the anti-British Hertzog came in; he was recalled at 70 to head his country at war for the third time, which he has accomplished with equal severity and decisiveness.
‘Sound, factual biography…’ (Kirkus)