The remarkable, and often touching, friendship between Winston Churchill and Jan Smuts is a rich study in contrasts.
In youth they occupied very different worlds: Churchill, the rambunctious and thrusting young aristocrat; Smuts, the ascetic, philosophical Cape farm boy who would go on to Cambridge. Brought together first as enemies in the Anglo-Boer War, and later as allies in the First World War, the men forged a friendship which spanned the first half of the twentieth century and endured until Smuts’s death in 1950. Richard Steyn, author of Jan Smuts: Unafraid of Greatness, examines this close friendship through two world wars and the intervening years, drawing on a maze of archival and secondary sources including letters, telegrams and the voluminous books written about both men.
This is a fascinating account of two remarkable men in war and peace: one the leader of the Empire, the other the leader of a small fractious member of that Empire who nevertheless rose to global prominence.
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A remarkable read!
Wed, 27 Feb 2019 | Review by: Richard-John C
‘Churchill & Smuts - The Friendship’ was my first purchase of a Richard Sten work, and it will most certainly not be the last! In reading this book, I have been struck by the enormous clarity, understanding, and insight with which Mr Steyn writes. In addition to the brilliantly rich tapestry he weaves using the multitude of facts he has garnered through his meticulous research of both the political and personal lives of Churchill and Smuts, two truly great men, he skillfully brings in what is clearly his own personal understanding of life and what shapes an individual’s decisions and actions. Thank you Mr Steyn for giving us a brilliant gem of literary work!
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