He grew up in a working-class Cape Town suburb and left school at 14 without his parents’ knowledge. In spite of this Alex Boraine has led a remarkably influential life. Within 25 years he had completed his university education with a doctorate and changed his world view from that of a fundamentalist preacher to liberal president of the Methodist Church. Boraine writes well and often with humour. He recalls his period of ministry in the western Transvaal travelling on a bicycle and in Pondoland on a motorbike and in a recalcitrant car; and remembers how George Soros’s cat got to their lunch first on a New York funding trip. But covering more recent times and his involvement with transitional justice he seems to have fallen back on lecture notes.