The second part of Alan Paton's biography begins in 1948, when two decisive events of his life occurred: the publication of his novel "Cry, the Beloved Country", and the coming to power of the Nationalist government in South Africa.
The period of the book covers all of Alan Paton's writings, notably his other novels "Too Late the Phalarope" and "Ah, But Your Land is Beautiful", his biographies of J.H.Hofmeyr and Archbishop Geoffrey Clayton, his memoir on the life and death of his first wife Dorrie, and the first volume of his autobiography. His political life is covered too, notably his part in the founding and nurturing of the Liberal Party of South Africa, of which he became National Chairman, working closely with Leo Marquard, the Ballingers, Donald Molteno, Peter Brown, Edgar Brookes, Jordan Ngubane and Patrick Duncan. His encounters with the African leaders Albert Lutuli, Robert Sobukwe and Z.K.Matthews, and with the controversial priest Trevor Huddleston and Ambrose Reeves, are of special interest. He gives evidence in favour of Nelson Mandela and others at the Rivionia Trial and endures a savage cross-examination. He agonizes over the young members of the Liberal Party involved in the African Resistance Movement (A.R.M.) and its bombings. During his overseas travels he meets and assesses great men like Nehru, Reinhold Niebuhr and Martin Niemoller. Through this autobiography runs his uncompromizing opposition to apartheid and its proponents, and at the same time his championship of the liberal tradition of justice, freedom and tolerance in striving towards a non-racial democracy in South Africa. Always he insists on the persistence of hope in the South African situation.
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