Cambridge; 1962-1968: Cambridge University Press. First Editions. Octavo. Item #027722
Volume I: The Sanguine Years, 1870-1919, half-title, 618(1) pages, portrait frontispiece, folded maps (some in color), facsimiles. Volume II: The Fields of Force, 1919-1950. Half-title, xiii, 590 pages. index. Sir Keith Hancock established the Smuts archive and began this major history which begins with his early history which led to his role as Prime Minister of South Africa. He avoided the call for "native enfranchisement". At the outbreak of World War I, he was able to suppress a rebellion and overcome the Germans and their ambitions in South Africa. He was made a minister of Britain’s war cabinet and considered important by Lloyd George and Woodrow Wilson. His role increased while he wished to return one day to a simple rural life though each morning he would read his Greek New Testament while dealing with issues including his seeing like Winston Churchill that Mussolini and Hitler could not be reasoned with as the Chapter entitled Year of Destiny. Although we wonder how these great men could not have seen the evils of a system that was rooted in racism, it is essential to read how both he and Churchill had blind spots for a bigger picture of the problems of the 20th Century. Both volumes bound in green cloth, spine lettering gilt over red, volume two with corners bumped, both in pictorial dust jacket with rubbing, small closed tears or chips, dust jacket on volume two is clipped. A very good set.