If you think you are inured to horror stories about South Africa, try this low-keyed memoir by a sincere, thoroughly un-racialist, apolitical South African lawyer who spent the '50's and '60's trying to get a fairer deal for his black clients within the letter of the regime's law. The famous ""pass"" system accounted for many of his cases; the further reaches of oppression confronted him with convicts used as literal slave labor; and during both the ebbs and flows of mass resistance to government policies, the torture of black organizers became a routine object of his legal combat. Carlson himself was increasingly subjected to harassment, then bombings and terrorization of his associates. The slow motion and pseudo-rationality of the court procedures intensify the fearfulness of the basic situation. In 1970 he was finally forced to flee the country. In a sense the narrow focus of the memoir (there is only brief backgrounding) adds to its direct force, as do the characterizations of both the beaten down and bravely resisting blacks he came to know.