Long Walk To Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela Paperback – 12 Oct 1995
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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)
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Haile Selassie said in his speech at the UN on 6th October 1963: ''That until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned: That until there are no longer first-class and second class citizens of any nation; That until the colour of a man's skin is of no more significance than the color of his eyes; That until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all without regard to race; That until that day, the dream of lasting peace and world citizenship and the rule of international morality will remain but a fleeting illusion, to be pursued but never attained; And until the ignoble and unhappy regimes that hold our brothers in Angola, in Mozambique and in South Africa in subhuman bondage have been toppled and destroyed; Until bigotry and prejudice and malicious and inhuman self-interest have been replaced by understanding and tolerance and good-will; Until all Africans stand and speak as free beings, equal in the eyes of all men, as they are in the eyes of Heaven; Until that day, the African continent will not know peace. We Africans will fight, if necessary, and we know that we shall win, as we are confident in the victory of good over evil''
Long LIVE Madiba, LONG LIVE!
I read this book as an academic resource but it is written in such a readable way full of personal anecdotes that it's accessible to most readers. The biography covers all of Mandela 's life from childhood right through to his presidential inauguration tracing the development of his character and ideology. It gives a clear primary account of what role Mandela played in the forming of the Youth wing of the ANC, forming its policy throughout the 50s and 60s, and his experience in prison.
The only caviet I would give is that this is a long book which can feel slightly repetitive in certain chapters but if you want an authoritative account of Apartheid and Mandela this is certainly worth the time.
Starting from the very humble beginnings its tells of Nelsons journey from his tribal start through his joining the ANC, his reasoning into why he started a small army set upon sabotage, his arrest, trial and release.
What comes to front of your mind is Nelsons unbelievable belief in what he is doing. He has a vision in mind for how he wants South Africa to be and nothing can shake this. All of his actions are taken in alignment with this belief. As he has, he is willing to give his life for his people and he is willing also to die for his people.
The story has many fascinating inside some personal such as his family life and marriages, and some quite deep insight into how a man becomes a leader.
The only downside to this audio CD for me , was the sometimes monotonous and uninspiring voice of Danny Glover (Lethal Weapon) a strange choice for such an inspiring speaker, and the difficulties I particular had with the pronunciation of South African names and places.