The writer of this beautiful and heavy book did come to know Desmond Tutu from close corners. He was the director of the Peace and Reconciliation Committee. In the Anglican Church he was reponsible for the mediacontacts of the bisshop. This close approximity has its advantages, because in this way intimate knowledge of Tutu was available. This closeness has a disadvantage as well, for you need some distance to describe the life of a man.

With a nice touch of detail Allen writes about the long lif of Tutu (why did not he wait for the passing away of Tuut to write his whole life?). It is about his life as a young clergyman in the Anglican Church, his stormy career, his jobhopping, his contacts with many national and international celebrities.

Allen is able to point his finger at Tutu’s longing for publicity, but also his struggle for justice.  This struggle did not end with the rise of Mandela, Mbeki and others.  He was able to criticize them as well, to the point.

It is a fascinating book about the rainbownation (Tutu was the first one to use this expression) and one of its foremost leaders.

John Allen – Rabble-Rouser for Peace – New York 2006 


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I enjoy reading about Africa. New books. Old books. By African writers. By non-African writers. Novel. History. Travel. Biographies. Autobiographies. Politics. Colonialism. Poetry.

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