Some Fairly-Recent Must- and Should-Reads

Note to Self: Griqua's Prayer

At Versailles, South African Prime Minister Jan Christian Smuts wrote about how he and Keynes sat up night after night and:

rail[ed] against the world and the coming flood. And I tell him that this is the time for Grigua’s Prayer (the Lord to come himself and not to send his Son, as this is not a time for children). And then we laugh, and behind the laughter is [Herbert] Hoover’s horrible picture of thirty million people who must die unless there is some great intervention. But then again we think that things are never really as bad as that; and something will turn up, and the worst will never be. And somehow all these phases of feeling are true and right in some sense… (Robert Skidelsky, Hopes Betrayed, page 373, quoting J.C. Smuts).

This is from p. 373 of John Maynard Keynes: Hopes Betrayed, 1883-1920. Skidelsky is quoting from a letter Smuts wrote to his friend and OxFam founder Margaret Gillett née Clark (1878-1962) on May 7, 1919. It is quoted earlier in Gordon Craig's Europe since 1914. The letter was published in volume 4 of the Smuts Papers, which Google Books has at , but Google Books) has no preview page 152-3: Skidelsky has misread a "q" as a "g"...

Bill Schwartz's The White Man's World contains a chapter on Jan Christian Smuts, "Frontier Philosopher", well worth reading....

#shouldread #history