Save the Beloved Country

Save the Beloved Country

by Alan Paton

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In these 90 short newspaper pieces (and one poem) reprinted from the last two decades, the noted South African novelist ( Cry, the Beloved Country ), who died last year at the age of 85, comments on apartheid, its causes and effects, proponents and opponents. Presenting impressions of prime ministers Smuts, Verwoerd, Vorster and Botha, black African leaders Luthuli, Sobukwe, Tutu and Mandela, Paton criticizes Afrikaner nationalism, the ``unreliable English'' and ``the stupid kind of activism that demands everything NOW.'' He asks questions ``that lie heavily on one's mind and soul, day after day, year after year'': Is disinvestment effective? How can we prevent terror? Is South Africa worth fighting for? While keenly observed and well argued, many of these pieces are of historic rather than immediate interest. (Nov.)
Library Journal - Library Journal
Paton, author of the now classic Cry the Beloved Country , remained to the end of his life (he died in 1988) a respected, even beloved, writer, a major literary figure in South Africa, despite the fact that events in his country had already passed him by. His arguments against disinvestment in South Africa alienated him from those in the forefront of the struggle. Poignant, eloquent, true to his spiritual vision, yet rendered increasingly anachronistic in the ``post-Soweto'' world of South Africa, Paton continued to write uncompromisingly. These collected journalistic pieces of the last 25 years are inevitably political. Paton writes of prominent South Africans--Luthuli, Mandela, Tutu, Smuts, Botha, Buthelezi--of Soweto, Sharpeville, and Crossroads, of detentions and bannings, of Afrikaners and apartheid, of hopes and fears; they are a cri de coeur for South Africa. To read them assumes a familiarity with the South African situation. And, in the end, we've heard it all before. Recommended for libraries specializing in South Africana.-- Janet L. Stanley, Smithsonian Inst. Libs., Washington, D.C.

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