A biography of a living man, the great South African leader, -- and it alternately suffers and profits by the fact that perspective is difficult while the subject still lives. The biographer jumps back and forth -- from college days in Cambridge to Smut's unpublished book on Walt Whitman to school at Stellenbosch to the Great War to the Boer War. And yet it does not become confused -- or confusing. Further -- the book is a history of the Transvaal, the Free State, the Cape Colony, from 1870 to 1917, when he became a member of the War Cabinet. Through the story zigzags the vivid, brilliant personality of Smuts, growing from a timid boy to a great general. Pictures too of other South African notables. A book that throws light on a period and section confused in most American minds -- and to any interested in South Africa it should prove intensely interesting.