26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Mandatory reading for all,
This review is from: Long Walk To Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela (Paperback)
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. Apartheid is an evil that will be reflected
in history as one of the very worst atrocities.
This book does in parts go into details that people such as myself, having lived in
South Africa, would savour but could prove at times to be long winded for others. That
said, it is more than worth the effort. At the very worst, this is a fascinating and
interesting book. At best, it should be mandatory reading for all of us. I recommend
it extremely highly.