TOWARD A BETTER WORLD by Jan Christiaan Smuts


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In October there was published a sound biography of Jan Smuts, written by F.S. Crafford (see P. 391). Now comes this collection of speeches, most of them in a way more revealing of the man himself and his philosophy of life than any third-person story could show. There is an introductory biographical sketch (unfortunately rather pedantic and prosaic reading). Then follow the speeches themselves, dating back to the last war (and singularly prophetic in their stress on those very factors that led to this war). Through the speeches one gets a fairly rounded conception of his loyalty to one central idea, a strong South Africa as part of the British Commonwealth of Nations. He presents cogent arguments for his position on the racial problem-stresses the moral line, the true Christian code. He feels that the British Empire stands for the fullest and freast development of its people along their specific lines -- but does not make a very good case for himself here. His own credo of individual freedom, his awareness of the threat of the new Fascist and Nasi ideologies, his welding of the South African parties into one, his plea for the recognition of the wholeness of mankind, his faith in the integrity of the South African spirit -- all form a heartening background for his brief analysis of the contribution South African is making today. A few lectures deal with his ""theory of Holiam"" and his scientific interests. And the final apologia for the Fall of Singapore shows unshaken allegiance to the Empire idea-though he emphasizes his preference for some other term than Empire. Important as an addition to our knowledge of a world figure. But not a book for wide consumption.

Pub Date: Jan. 20th, 1943
ISBN: 1432614940
Publisher: Duell, Sloan & Pearce