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Long Walk To Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela [Paperback]

Nelson Mandela
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (285 customer reviews)
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Book Description

12 Oct 1995

The riveting memoirs of the outstanding moral and political leader of our time, A LONG WALK TO FREEDOM brilliantly re-creates the drama of the experiences that helped shape Nelson Mandela's destiny. Emotive, compelling and uplifting, A LONG WALK TO FREEDOM is the exhilarating story of an epic life; a story of hardship, resilience and ultimate triumph told with the clarity and eloquence of a born leader.

'Burns with the luminosity of faith in the invincible nature of human hope and dignity ... Unforgettable' Andre Brink

'Enthralling ... Mandela emulates the few great political leaders such as Lincoln and Gandhi, who go beyond mere consensus and move out ahead of their followers to break new ground'

Donald Woods in the SUNDAY TIMES

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Product details

  • Paperback: 784 pages
  • Publisher: Abacus; New Ed edition (12 Oct 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780349106533
  • ISBN-13: 978-0349106533
  • ASIN: 0349106533
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 5.1 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (285 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 554 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon Review

The famously taciturn South African president reveals much of himself in Long Walk to Freedom. A good deal of this autobiography was written secretly while Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years on Robben Island by South Africa's apartheid regime. Among the book's interesting revelations is Mandela's ambivalence toward his lifetime of devotion to public works. It cost him two marriages and kept him distant from a family life he might otherwise have cherished. Long Walk to Freedom also discloses a strong and generous spirit that refused to be broken under the most trying circumstances--a spirit in which just about everybody can find something to admire. --Amazon.com


A tale of anger and sorrow, love and joy, grace and elegance (DAILY NEWS)

Indispensable ... [a] unique life-story (Anthony Sampson)

A truly stunning account of his extraordinary life ... A vivid testimony to an unusual mixture of courage, persistence, tolerance, and forgiveness (Sir David Steel)

One of the most life- affirming books you'll read (GQ)

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
62 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An essential read 3 Jun 2007
This book has over 800 pages and even its own index, but don't let that scare you off. It is far from being a boring historical report on the events surrounding his life. If you want to know what he did, go to an encyclopedia and read such a historical report. If you want to know Nelson Mandela, to know his way of thinking, to feel every emotion as he feels it, to really get a picture of the pain he and the oppressed felt, read this book.

As the book progresses, the development of Mandela's character and his way of thinking is made apparent to the reader. Every emotion that Mandela feels is shared with the reader in a deeper way than in most autobiographies, as alongside his personal struggles, there is the struggle for freedom that can incite strong feelings of injustice and sympathy in anyone. This is definately an emotionally and politically heavy book, but there are several moments of light-heartedness where Mandela expresses certain past events with an irony or humour. As he looks back on certain bad experiences, he can laugh about it.

This is a man that everyone should learn about, and this is certainly the book to read in order to do so.
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79 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating read 25 Oct 2001
This is a long book, but extremely worthwhile in its insights into South Africa as well as to Nelson Mandela himself. I got a real feeling from this book of what it feels like to live in a society where the state is constantly tightening the screws on your rights and freedoms. The contrast between the way that Mandela is treated outside the country (as a scholar and statesman) and at home (as a dangerous terrorist and member of a racial underclass) comes over most strongly.
Mandela's tales of prison life (of 27 years) also give an insight into the way that the political mind works. Where many would have succumbed to desperation and terminal introspection, Mandela is still compelled to debate, to organise, to protest and to educate. Finally, Robben Island was widely considered an "ANC University", and the authorities were still afraid of Mandela and his colleagues even after they had been in prison for two decades.
A fascinating personal history of one the key conflicts of the 20th century, and a must for students of democracy.
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106 of 113 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!! 22 July 2006
I will admit that as a twenty year oldguy i have not really read a whole book in my entire life..with other media like television stealing my mind, books have not really appealed to me. I dont know why i bought this book, but i can tell you that from the first page i becam glued!!! I read it at every oppurtunity i had from when i had breaks at work...to when i was goin to sleep. This book has a hook in every chapter that makes you want to read on. My friends and I knew nothing of Nelson Mandela ebfore i read this book, apart from this image that he was a hero. I now understand why, and idolise this man who dedicated his life to give the people of South Africa the right to live. This book covers everything from his early childhood, through to the ANC, His imprisonment at Robben Island...right up to the freedom that he achieved. I am not a professinal crtic, and i have no real great words in my mind that could the describe this book to its fullest...so all i will say is its AMAZING, and that if you havent read this book...do...it will make you think twice about the world we live in and understand the goodwill in people throughout this world...my next task is to read up on Winnie Mandela..who would of thought i would become a book freak!!! ;-)
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic/compelling! 18 July 2005
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
What a read! I like many people of my age (50's) had heard about N.M. thoughout my life. Whilst he was a man I greatly admired, I knew little about his early life and felt I wanted to know why such a good man felt the need to turn to violence. A useful insight in todays world. I started the book wanting to know more about him but was a little daunted by the books length and feared it would be 'heavy going'. How wrong I was, I can honestly say it is one of the best books I have ever read. Factually compelling and at the same time so easy to read. I still have 80 pages to go and I am reading them very slowly just because I don't want this book to end. Buy it....it is the story of a really remarkable man.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mandatory reading for all 6 Dec 2013
I recall vividly the Christmas eve, sitting under the shade of farmhouse
trees near Sea View, in the Eastern Cape of South Africa when I read this
tomb of a book a few years ago. Instead of later going inside to prepare a
festive meal, I continued reading, riveted to the very end.

Having grown up in South Africa, many of the events, names and faces mentioned
in the book were a summary of the history of my own surroundings. The book not
only shocked and interested me, but left me with an overwhelming debt of gratitude
for the bravery and risks Nelson Mandela took (and many others around him) for the
benefit of others. He taught not only his nation, but the world to be forgiving and
fearless. To use our hearts and minds to ensure society is just, free and fair.

How Nelson Mandela managed to keep his own organisation functioning purposefully in a
sensible direction, when so many where oppressed, harmed and disadvantaged is a
leadership conundrum I will struggle to resolve. His charisma and dedication to the cause
will have him immortalised and his fans loyal for generations.

The book takes the reader from his humble, yet important roots from a rural childhood,
to his early days in Johannesburg and then on to become a Freedom Fighter. On the run
as the Black Pimpernel, the Rivonia Trials, the Dark Years on Robben Island and then
Talking with the enemy were the most interesting sections of the book for me.

Reading the book in one lengthy sitting exhausted me emotionally. The enormity of
Madiba's gift to all of us is huge. Man's inhumanity to man, where wonderful people
were discriminated against is hard to fathom.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly a Man
Nelson Mandela shows the world the way it should go and does it well. Seldom have men risen from such circumstances as he and gone on to the dizzy heights he ascended. Read more
Published 1 day ago by christine devlin
5.0 out of 5 stars A man of integrity and patience
What a role model. Everyone needs to read this book, to learn from so great a man, about how to keep faith with your principles and not to lose hope. Read more
Published 2 days ago by J.L.Humphrey
5.0 out of 5 stars Please read this book
Please do read this book, written by one of the greatest men of our time.
From indignation at the terrible way the aborigines of south Africa were treated, to the touching... Read more
Published 3 days ago by J. Leedham
4.0 out of 5 stars An unparrelled account on apartheid
A classic in its own right this book is a fascinating account of one of the most important figures in the 20th century. Read more
Published 5 days ago by Sarquin
5.0 out of 5 stars Fortitude, Stength, and the will to live
This is an easy book to read. Its author has an excellent way to explain the culture of the African black people and thier way of working and dealing with problems of the people. Read more
Published 5 days ago by Sally Butler
5.0 out of 5 stars What an amazing man
Great book, easy to read....amazing what Mandela has done for his country, truly awe inspiring man. Definitely worth a read
Published 7 days ago by Charene
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm sure it'll be
An excellent read when I finish it. Very slow to start & difficult to get into. Doesn't start to get really interesting until Mr Mandela joins the ANC.
Published 12 days ago by Annette
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing man
I already thought Nelson Mandela was an inspirational amazing person who put his own family and life on hold to fight for his people's freedom. Read more
Published 13 days ago by Shell Henderson
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Swift and sure service from Amazon for this autobiography from one of the icons of our age. We chose it after seeing the film that was made from it which was so impressive
Published 14 days ago by Algeby
4.0 out of 5 stars Nelson a great man
This book gave me a great insight into Nelson's struggle to free his people through his own suffering. Read more
Published 17 days ago by Stephen Beazley
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