Asking for Trouble by Donald Woods

The autobiography of a banned journalist.

‘Why was I, a fifth-generation white South African, editor for twelve years of one of the country’s longest-established newspapers, escaping in disguise in fear of political police?’

Donald Woods grew up in the midst of the Bomvanas, as the only white child. He spoke their language, Xhosa, with the same fluency as the Bomvanas. Naturally, his upbringing played a key role in Daniel Woods’ future. With no journalism degree available, Daniel Woods studied law, but reverted to journalism when he realised this was his only passion.

In 1977, editor Donald Woods was silenced. After publicly opposing apartheid, he was banned from editing his newspaper, the Daily Dispatch, and writing his widely syndicated column.

An open critic of the National Party and a firm supporter of the Black Consciousness Movement, Woods had waged a journalistic war against the government for many years.

The death of Steve Biko, the movement’s founder, and the growth of personal attacks on Woods and his family finally compelled them to flee the country In this honest and eloquent account of his life in South Africa, Donald Woods recounts his legal training, his progress as a journalist and his advocacy of black rights. Asking for Trouble is an inspiring portrait of a courageous and uncompromising man at war with injustice.

About the author…

Donald Woods was born in Transkei in 1933 and studied law in Gape Town before becoming a journalist. At the age of thirty-one he was appointed editor of the Daily Dispatch, a leading anti-apartheid newspaper in South Africa. Until he was silenced by government banning orders in October 1977, he wrote the most widely read syndicated column in the country.

He and his wife and their five children escaped to Britain in 1978 and now live in London, where he works as a writer, broadcaster and lecturer on South African affairs. His other books include Biko and South African Dispatches.

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Posted in Biography, General Non-Fiction Endeavours.