cover image Trevor Huddleston: A Life

Trevor Huddleston: A Life

Robin Denniston, Author St. Martin's Press $69.95 (295p) ISBN 978-0-312-22709-8

Anglican monk Huddleston spent a formative decade in South Africa from 1943 to 1953; upon being called back to Britain by his superiors, he founded and led the Anti-Apartheid Movement. Naught for Your Comfort, Huddleston's vivid account of his years in the black township of Sophiatown, was a touchstone for Christian social thought in England, and to a lesser extent the United States, during the 1950s and '60s, but his role in undermining apartheid has been (justly) eclipsed by South Africans such as Desmond Tutu, Walter Sisulu and Oliver Tambo, who were his prot g s and friends. This workmanlike biography may or may not succeed in raising Huddleston's profile. Denniston (an Anglican priest himself who edited Huddleston's original book) demonstrates a thoroughly British disinclination for delving into Huddleston's personal life, producing a readable but somewhat bland chronicle that touches only glancingly on Huddleston's temper and periods of depression, not to mention his passionate if evidently chaste relationships with several women and, more controversially, boys. (Likewise, the first 34 years of Huddleston's life get a scant nine pages of text.) But Denniston is honest if he is not exhaustive. Fully aware that Huddleston's life after his high-profile stint in South Africa had as many reversals as triumphs, and writing just after Huddleston's death in 1998, Denniston has given us a book that every activist should read. (Jan.)