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The African Colony: Studies in the Reconstruction (1903) is a history of South Africa told from John Buchan's personal viewpoint: "I have tried in the main to state as clearly as I could the outstanding problems of South African politics as they appear to one observer. I have tried to write what is a kind of guide-book, not to details, but to the constituents of that national life which is now in process of growth. The first part consists of brief historical sketches, dealing with the genesis of the three populations--native, uitlander, and Boer. The second part (deals with) the configuration of the land. The third part (is) a sketch of the political problem as it has to be faced in South Africa to-day." According to Wikipedia, "John Buchan, 1st Baron Tweedsmuir (26 August 1875 11 February 1940) was a Scottish novelist and Unionist politician who served as Governor General of Canada. Buchan's 100 works include nearly thirty novels, seven collections of short stories and biographies of Sir Walter Scott, Caesar Augustus, and Oliver Cromwell. Buchan's most famous of his books were the spy thrillers (including) The 39 Steps (which was converted to a play as well as an Alfred Hitchcock movie starring Robert Donat as Richard Hannay, though with Buchan's story much altered.) The "last Buchan" (as Graham Greene entitled his appreciative review) was the 1941 novel Sick Heart River (American title: Mountain Meadow), in which a dying protagonist confronts in the Canadian wilderness the questions of the meaning of life. The insightful quotation "It's a great life, if you don't weaken" is famously attributed to Buchan, as is "No great cause is ever lost or won, The battle must always be renewed, And the creed must always be restated."

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