The notoriety of the Pan-Africanist Congress of South Africa derives largely from its role in precipitating the Sharpeville emergency of 1960, and from the reputation of its widely admired founder-president, Robert Sobukwe (1924-78). Although the PAC, today as in 1960, bases its appeal on emotional racially defined nationalism, Sobukwe judged individuals on their merits and maintained cordial relations with many white South Africans. The author of this biography, a former deputy editor of the liberal Rand Daily Mail, knew Sobukwe well during the last two decades of his life. The book deals at disproportionate length with Sobukwe's rather uneventful post-Sharpeville years of imprisonment, banishment and final illness, but it also assembles the fullest record to date of his early life and meteoric career in the late 1950s as a nationalist leader.
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