General Jan Christiaan Smuts

From the L.R. Reeve* collection- this (partly) eyewitness portrait of Jan Smuts, South African and British Commonwealth statesman, military leader and philosopher (1870 - 1950.) His fame may have significantly lessened since Reeve wrote this (about 20 years after Smuts' death).Probably he would no longer be up there with Darwin and Milton..


At least half a dozen books have been written about the late General Smuts, and I am certain that more will continue to be published not only in South Africa, but in England, the United States of America and other countries.
  Due to his early, unusual environment and a formidable, but attractive personality, Smuts possessed a unique quality and became one of the most remarkable men of his generation. No one will ever be able to render a comprehensive account of his notable service to mankind. The most that can be done will be to collect the evidence of many writers, and portray a composite figure.
  I would select for personal interest, the biographies A Sight of General Smuts at Cambridge, and Sarah Gertrude Millen's Life. He was a brilliant scholar, and certainly brought distinction to a great university. I emphasize brought because I find that college guides quite understandably remember to inform visitors of the distinguished men who have graduated.
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