The leader of South Africa's antiapartheid movement chronicles his life, including his tribal years, his time spent in prison, and his return to lead his peoplePublishers Description
Nelson Mandela is one of the great moral and political leaders of our time: an international hero whose lifelong dedication to the fight against racial oppression in South Africa won him the Nobel Peace Prize and the presidency of his country. Since his triumphant release in 1990 from more than a quarter-century of imprisonment, Mandela has been at the center of the most compelling and inspiring political drama in the world. As president of the African National Congress and head of South Africa's anti-apartheid movement, he was instrumental in moving the nation toward multiracial government and majority rule. He is revered everywhere as a vital force in the fight for human rights and racial equality. The foster son of a Thembu chief, Mandela was raised in the traditional, tribal culture of his ancestors, but at an early age learned the modern, inescapable reality of what came to be called apartheid, one of the most powerful and effective systems of oppression ever conceived. In classically elegant and engrossing prose, he tells of his early years as an impoverished student and law clerk in Johannesburg, of his slow political awakening, and of his pivotal role in the rebirth of a stagnant ANC and the formation of its Youth League in the 1950s. He describes the struggle to reconcile his political activity with his devotion to his family, the anguished breakup of his first marriage, and the painful separations from his children. He brings vividly to life the escalating political warfare in the fifties between the ANC and the government, culminating in his dramatic escapades as an underground leader and the notorious Rivonia Trial of 1964, at which he was sentenced to life imprisonment. Herecounts the surprisingly eventful twenty-seven years in prison and the complex, delicate negotiations that led both to his freedom and to the beginning of the end of apartheid. Finally he provides the ultimate inside account.
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.3" Width: 5.48" Height: 1.77"
Weight: 1.35 lbs.
Release Date Oct 1, 1995
Publisher Back Bay Books
Availability 44 units.
Availability accurate as of Nov 22, 2017 02:46.
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
|"it is the oppressor who defines the nature of the struggle" May 31, 2008|
I recently finished a leadership training course sponsored by my company. One of the activities that we did in the class was to reflect on great world leaders and think about what qualities made them great. It came up during the session that some years ago the teachers had led a similar exercise, but had actually asked the participants to try to communicate with a living leader who had personally affected them. The idea had been for people to get in touch with a former manager or teacher. However, it happened that one of the participants (not having a manager who he or she had admired) contacted Nelson Mandela by email. To everyone's surprise, he responded quite kindly and shared some thoughts about leaders and leadership.
When I was traveling in South Africa, I heard many similar stories. Tour groups who told about Mandela coming out of the parliament building to greet and talk to the tourists. Employees at Robben Island talked reverently about how he had taken personal interest in their lives based on the briefest of acquaintenceships. Every story emphasized his humbleness, his respect for others, and his basic approachability.
Long Walk to Freedom, for me, confirms that image of Mandela as a man who is great in part because of his humbleness, and his resistance to myth. He emphasizes his role as the man in the middle, pushed by circumstances and common decency into greatness. He consistently avoids overdone bragging (the little that is there is surely allowed him) and looks hard at the actions that the ANC took in their quest for freedom.
While it would have been interesting to read this before going to South Africa, I actually think that I got more out of it now after seeing the country first.
I really enjoyed the book. It is not a perfect narrative. It suffers in parts from being written over a period of years. There are some little repetitions and awkwardnesses along the way. None of those things matter at all in relation to either the reading experience or the importance of the book. I liked it very much, and would recommend it highly to others. Do not be daunted by its size (625 pages, in my edition). It is actually a very quick read and kept me intensely interested the whole time. Genuinely inspirational.
|Must Read May 11, 2008|
|This is a fantastic book that provides great insight into one of the most inspirational leaders in modern history. His story in particular and the anti-apartheid struggles in general are fascinating and provide extremely valuable lessons. With his humbleness and incredibly lucid and organized writing style (which admittedly did surprise me), this could be the best autobiography out there. One can only imagine how different the continent would be if other African Nations had such strong leaders with Nelson Mandela's courage and integrity.|
|Mandela: a portrait of integrity Apr 10, 2008|
|This book recounts the life of Nelson Mandela beginning in childhood up to the present age. It is written by Mandela himself - it's honest, straightforward style seems to be an honest attempt by Mandela to portray himself objectively, avoiding the tendency to be self-serving. |
A fascinating book. It begins with Mandela in his young childhood living in a pre-industrial society of native Africans in the countryside of South Africa where white settlers have dominated industrialized society. It is an engaging society, - perhaps more advanced than our own - as one must reconsider what it means to live in harmony and in cooperation; A true democracy, based on the ideals that all are equal.
Mandela undergoes culture shock when he runs away from his traditional homeland to seek his fortunes in the big city of Johannesberg. Here is encounters white society up close, and is mortified at the inequity that exists between the native blacks, and the immigrant whites that make every attempt to dominate their country and exploit its indigenous peoples.
Mandela encounters a small group of educated, free-thinking educated blacks, and joins the African National Congress. Here he encounters several other oppressed peoples: Indians, Communists, and liberal whites. He slowly makes his life's objective to be a freedom fighter. A fighter for civil rights for all people. A life of struggle, where one must be willing to pay the ultimate price. And he nearly does.
He becomes the inspiration for downtrodden average black citizen, nearly enslaved within their own country. He willingly faces grave danger, is tried several times for his political ideals, denounced as "treason" and is eventually sent to prison "for life."
Mandela's life in prison is austere. But he and his colleagues never yield in their commitment to freedom for all South Africans. His wife, Winnie is an example of true dedication - equally a woman of integrity and worthy of the highest praise. She undergoes severe hardships being married to a "freedom fighter."
Mandela avoids the tendency to give up in the face of severe conditions, showing true mettle as he remains dedicated to the rights for all people to live free in racist South Africa. 27 years later having risked his life and surviving harsh prison conditions, he emerges a national hero.
A must read for anyone - Mandela is history in the making.
|Wonderful Book Mar 27, 2008|
|Full of humanity, integrity, sacrifice, humility, and character. This is an uplifting book about the power of the human spirit to overcome great adversity. I loved it and I do agree that this book should be required reading for everyone. Parts of this book brought tears to my eyes. It illuminates a great man and the struggle people had to endure to overcome a great blight. To think that the U.S. did not place sanctions on South Africa until the mid 1980's, when men like Mandela were fighting and dying for the right to be considered human. I read recently that Pat Roberston, the great American evangelical, was a supporter of apartheid. How incredibly inhuman. If you know anything about South Africa, you will know that by the end of his long incarceration, even Mandela's captors had acquired great respect for this man. A must read...in many ways, this is a life changing, life affirming book. Powerful.|
|Should be required reading Jan 14, 2008|
|I read this before my recent trip to South Africa and I'm so glad I did as it made me appreciate this amazing country and its people even more. I think anyone who visits Robben Island without reading this first misses out on an incredible history lesson. This should be required reading in all high schools.|
I will admit that it was a long read and difficult to get through at times, but it really demonstrates just how long of a road Nelson Mandela had to travel for his freedom. Amazing, amazing man. I only hope there will be "another Mandela" to lead this country in the future.
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