Asking for Trouble (Magill's Literary Annual 1982)
Crouched under the dashboard of his own automobile, in disguise and under cover of darkness, journalist Donald Woods began his daring flight from the South African Security Police. His escape was the culmination of years of public protest of a system that ensured the domination of five million whites over more than twenty million blacks.
Asking for Trouble is the personal account of one man’s life amid the social and political climate of racial tension in a segregated South Africa. This is Woods’s full story; growing up white in the Transkei region; rising rapidly in his career as newspaper reporter and eventually editor of a major newspaper; and finally becoming radicalized through his encounters with Black Consciousness leaders. While the book is a disturbing indictment of apartheid and of the totalitarian tactics of the South African government, the self-centeredness, the over-dramatization, and the smugness of Wood’s satisfaction with himself undermines the seriousness of the apartheid issue and, ultimately, of Woods’s intent to condemn the system.
A fifth-generation white, Woods grew up with both whites and blacks in the Transkei region of South Africa. This portion of the country, part of the Eastern Cape, was a more relaxed area where racial and social progress arrived earlier and tensions arrived later than in other parts of the country. Forty percent of white South Africans were of British descent and sixty percent of...
(The entire section is 2054 words.)
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Bibliography (Magill's Literary Annual 1982)
Book World. XI, August 23, 1981, p. 3.
Business Week. May, 1981, p. 12.
Christian Science Monitor. LXXIII, September 14, 1981, p. B3.
Kirkus Reviews. XLIX, July 15, 1981, p. 880.
Library Journal. CVI, July, 1981, p. 1403.
The New Republic. CLXXXV, September 30, 1981, p. 34.
The New York Times Book Review. LXXXVI, August 30, 1981, p. 9.
Newsweek. XCVIII, August 31, 1981, p. 63.
Publishers Weekly. CCXX, July 3, 1981, p. 138.
Saturday Review. VIII, September, 1981, p. 79.
(The entire section is 55 words.)