Category Archives: Reviews

The truth about Tutu

This biography is “a substantial contribution to social history,” says Cape Times reviewer Gerald Shaw. “It suggests that moral values and courage in proclaiming and living such values can be more powerful in human affairs than is often believed.”

Click on the headline above to pull up the full page and read a PDF of the review, published on October 31, 2006.

My book of the year

CX Press, Knysna

The Book Review, by Timothy Twidle

John Allen’s truly magnificent book makes for riveting reading. I was invited to the launch of the book in Cape Town but was unable to attend.

However my review copy from Random House arrived on the self same afternoon, Thursday September 28. I opened the book and began reading right there and then, became utterly engrossed and turned the last page on Sunday afternoon!

‘Rabble-Rouser for Peace’ is a consummate work of scholarship that charts the rise and rise of Desmond Tutu through the hierarchy …
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Meet a husband, a priest, a nation’s conscience

“Rabble-Rouser for Peace” lays bare “Tutu’s warts,” writes Kevin Ritchie, in a review published in The Star, Johannesburg on October 12, 2006, but Tutu does not emerge from this treatment diminished in any way.

The book “will make sure we never forget to appreciate Tutu’s contribution to this country…”

Click on the headline above to pull up this post, then on a PDF of the full review.

Mighty fighter in a mitre

10 November 2006

Financial Mail – BOOK OF THE WEEK

Mighty fighter in a mitre

By Richard Steyn

Desmond Tutu may rightfully be described as the conscience of the nation.

It is not necessary to agree with all his arguments, approve of his occasional histrionics or share his unbounded optimism to recognise that no-one has stood up more consistently for his principles or tried harder to heal the wounds of racism than this turbulent Anglican prelate. Unlike the sainted Mandela, Tutu has never needed to answer to a political constituency. His lodestar has always been his Christian …
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Public enemy of persecution

Hindustan Times

By Renuka Narayanan

New Delhi, November 20, 2006

Rabble-Rouser for Peace: The Authorised Biography of Desmond Tutu
Author: John Allen
Publisher: Random House
Pages: 430
Format: Hardcover

Ask South Africans of Indian origin about race relations in the African country and some lament: “Alas, the gains made by Tutu and Mandela are being rolled back by the whites.”

The new biography of Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu is helpful up to a point. Written by the former religion correspondent of a major South African daily newspaper, the book is written with warmth and with as intimate an acquaintance …
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On the warpath with God’s first warrior

Former aide John Allen’s authorised biography offers an intimate view of Desmond Tutu, says John Carlin

Sunday November 12, 2006
The Observer

Rabble-Rouser for Peace: The Authorised Biography of Desmond Tutu
by John Allen

Rider Books £18.99, pp496

I have talked to a number of friends who have spent time, as I have, with Archbishop Desmond Tutu and they feel the same way. There’s no one we know who rattles our non-belief as he does.

There’s no mystery about it. It’s all to do with his perfect pitch. Whether you are in private with him or part of a large crowd, …
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5 Reasons to Live

Entertainment Weekly

Ken Tucker picks pop gems to get you through the week, including Helen Mirren’s stunning final turn as Jane Tennison in ”Prime Suspect”

1. Helen Mirren in Prime Suspect: The Final Act
(PBS, Nov. 12, 9 p.m.)

Detective Superintendent Jane Tennison is back for her last case — she’s still battling sexism at the job and the bottle after hours, still making brilliant crime-scene deductions and bad decisions on the homefront. Mirren is getting a lot of acclaim for portraying royalty these days — in the movie The Queen and in HBO‘s Elizabeth …
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Spirituality & Practice – Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

Spirituality and Practice

Book Review
By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

Rabble-Rouser for Peace
The Authorized Biography of Desmond Tutu
John Allen
Free Press 10/06 Hardcover $28.00
ISBN: 0743269373

Desmond Tutu, the Anglican Archbishop and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, has spent his life seeking justice for his people and waging a battle for peace in a war-torn world. He came up with the phrase “the rainbow nation” as a description for the new democratic South Africa. In fact, throughout his long and illustrious career as a teacher, a pastor, and a human rights activist, Tutu has been a “rabble-rouser for …
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Aide offers insider’s view of inspiring South African archbishop

Catholic News Service

By Gunther Simmermacher


Besides the pope, retired Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa is arguably the world’s most famous living Christian cleric. He was instrumental in bringing down apartheid, and then played a central role in forging a measure of reconciliation in his polarized country.

It has been the privilege of South African journalist John Allen to have been close at Archbishop Tutu’s side throughout the crucial years of his ministry, as the archbishop’s and then the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s much-respected press secretary. As an intimate aide, Allen has …
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