Category Archives: Media

Tutu: Moses of Africa

Tutu: Moses of Africa
The East African, Nairobi

TWO DRAMATIC PICTURES capture the spirit of this book; one blurred shot taken in 1980 in the Eastern Rand, South Africa, shows Desmond Tutu struggling to stay upright as a man about to be lynched clings to his legs.

The second shot, taken nine years later in Gugulethu, Cape Town, shows him in his cassock outside a church, with four other men silhouetted against a rising cloud of tear gas.

The black and white prints tell of the drama, urgency and danger of life was under apartheid. They also …
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Pick of the paperbacks- Extract from Telegraph, UK column

Pick of the paperbacks

John Allen was close to Desmond Tutu, his right-hand man indeed, for quite a number of years and is therefore a good person for this official biography. His title sums up the Archbishop’s ability (rare in South Africa) to excite huge crowds to love peace rather than violence.

The warts are there in the picture too, with Tutu’s occasional moments of despair and, saddest of all, his failure to convince some of his fellow-clerics that it was right to mix politics and religion. NB

Biography of Desmond Tutu is rewarding read

Mountain Echo,  News from the Episcopal Diocese of Vermont
By John Morris

In November of 2006, my wife, Susan, and I had the opportunity to be in South Africa for two weeks. We visited our daughter, who has been studying there for three years, and we toured some towns and cities, met a lot of her friends, and saw some beautiful countryside and ocean shore. One of the last things I did before we returned home was purchase a copy of the new Rabble-Rouser for Peace: The Authorized Biography of Desmond Tutu, by John …
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Book Review – City Press, Johannesburg

Book review: Rabble-rouser for peace
28/09/2007  – City Press, Johannesburg

John Allen’s authorised biography of Desmond Tutu, entitled Rabble-Rouser For Peace, is a 400-page book that paints a picture of how this man of the cloth’s patience, open-mindedness, assertiveness and diligent efforts helped lead to the peaceful downfall of the former apartheid system.

The book starts by showing how the former Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town’s intelligence and photographic memory helped him to secure tertiary qualifications that allowed him to get a mere three hours sleep each night. But his studies were nearly derailed …
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A Different Kind of Christianity

FaithInSociety blog, November 2006

Despite a daft headline (presumably it was meant as ironic), there’s an interesting review by John Carlin of the new Archbishop Desmond Tutu biography, published in The Observer. The key point is, Tutu communicates an interest in others and a vibrancy for life not centred on himself, a ‘religious in-group’ or the church as institution. Rather, he invites us to experience the possibility of the Gospel as a generous, capacious, inviting and domination-free adventure which treats others with dignity and respect. This, not defensive whingeing about “loss …
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“Readable biography… No plaster saint”

New Internationalist, January 2007

Rabble-Rouser for Peace/ What Happens After Mugabe/ The Book of Not

Most people would agree that, Nelson Mandela apart, the pre-eminent figure embodying South Africa’s long struggle for freedom and democracy has been Archbishop Desmond Tutu. In the darkest times, Tutu was always there, speaking at countless demonstrations and rallies and bearing witness to the evil perpetrated by apartheid. When liberty was won, his leadership of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission set the country on the path to justice when it could so easily have taken …
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Bookwatch – The Hindu

Bookwatch – The Hindu


“TUTU continued to crave more time for meditation and prayer. But this longing conflicted with many other impulses… the attractions of the money to be earned on the speaking circuit; …his enjoyment of the limelight…” Would a comment like this have made it into a biography of South African leader and Nobel Laureate Desmond Tutu had the biographer been an Indian?

Unlikely. For, Indians tend to eulogise and turn biographies of even living persons into obituaries; whitewashing the warts that make up any human being. But, …
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Cometh the Hour, Cometh the Man

United Reformed Church online (UK)

Desmond Tutu, Rabble-Rouser for Peace by John Allen.
Pub Random House, pp480, ISBN 1844135713, £18.99

Desmond Tutu, 75 this year despite three cancer operations, has lived through, and crucially contributed to, the second most dramatic change in a social system in the 20th century after the fall of communism.

This authorised biography is almost a warts and all portrait, though the quoted criticisms are usually answered. But no-one lives such a life without making enemies and drawing exasperated comments even from friends. Allen paints a sensitive picture of his …
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Biography of hardship, resilience, defiance against injustice and apartheid

Atlanta Dunia Website

Rabble-Rouser for Peace
The Authorized Biography of Desmond Tutu
By John Allen. Free Press. New York. Hard Cover. 496 pages

Reviewed by Mahadev Desai

John Allen, a respected and distinguished journalist, who has been a trusted friend of charismatic Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Laureate and spiritual father, whose words and experiences resonate with people of all faiths, has written an engrossing biography of him.

The absorbing biography, with 8 pages of vintage photographs, published to coincide with Tutu’s 75th Birthday, by Allen who has had 30 years of first-hand contact with him has …
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