The autobiography of global human rights icon Nelson Mandela is "riveting...both a brilliant description of a diabolical system and a testament to the power of the spirit to transcend it" (Washington Post).
Nelson Mandela was one of the great moral and political leaders of his 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. After his triumphant release in 1990 from more than a quarter-century of imprisonment, Mandela was 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 antiapartheid movement, he was instrumental in moving the nation toward multiracial government and majority rule. He is still revered everywhere as a vital force in the fight for human rights and racial equality.
Long Walk to Freedom is his moving and exhilarating autobiography, destined to take its place among the finest memoirs of history's greatest figures. Here for the first time, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela told the extraordinary story of his life -- an epic of struggle, setback, renewed hope, and ultimate triumph.
The book that inspired the major motion picture Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.
This fluid memoir matches South African President Mandela's stately grace with wise reflection on his life and the freedom struggle that defined it. Mandela began this book in 1975, during his 27-year imprisonment. He has fleshed out a sweeping story that begins in the rural Transkei in 1918 and moves beyond, especially to Johannesburg, where he became politically active as one of only a few black African lawyers. As an African National Congress leader, this military novice helped launch an armed struggle against the intransigent apartheid government, then eloquently explained his political convictions when on trial in 1964 for sabotage. Perhaps the most powerful passages involve the Robben Island prison, where political prisoners formed a ``university'' and Mandela read books like War and Peace, resisting embitterment and finding decency even in callous Afrikaner jailers. Moved to a mainland prison in 1985, Mandela, unable to consult with exiled ANC leaders, initiated intricate negotiations with the government; the story fascinates. This book-perhaps out of diplomacy and haste-covers the period since Mandela's 1990 release with less nuance and candor than other recent accounts; still his belief in repairing his country inspires. Mandela's family life has involved much sadness: he was not permitted a contact visit with wife Winnie for 21 years, was separated from his two young children and split with Winnie after his release, although he supported her during her 1991 conviction for kidnapping (a sentence she is appealing). ``In South Africa,'' he notes, ``a man who tried to fulfill his duty to his people was inevitably ripped from his family and his home.'' Photos not seen by PW.
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Long walk to freedom
Every person in the planet should read this book
This is the most incredible story of recent history. As this great man states at the end of this book- "perhaps the deepest parts of oppression bring out the characteristics to overcome..." the story told in this book and the people described is nothing short of the story of the founding fathers of the United States. These people are personalities, people who through the the most inconceivable circumstances, motivated by an unexplainable passion for equality and change, have actually really prevailed and created the most valuable item known to humanity...a free thinking and living piece of land for its citizens in which to properly reside.
P.S -- I do believe there were once Tigers in Africa ;)
Ethos of Our Time
I don’t know why it took me so long to read Long Walk to Freedom, but it was definitely worth the wait. Few individuals conjure the ethos of our time like Nelson Mandela. He embodies our hopes, fears, dreams and disappointments. While I never had the privilege to meet the man in person, it is enough to know that I lived in the same lifespan. It is a primer on how to persevere in the liberation of oppressed people everywhere - always.