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Mandela Hardcover – 9 Mar 2010

4.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 9 Mar 2010
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 688 pages
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs,U.S.; 1 edition (9 Mar. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1586488325
  • ISBN-13: 978-1586488321
  • Product Dimensions: 24.2 x 16.8 x 5.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,988,056 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

'An authoritative biography'
-- Glasgow Herald

`A monumental read, this latest version includes a decade of additional perspective' --Travel Africa magazine

'Mandela's work with AIDS prevention, the many scandals that plagued the ANC and the South African government and political manoeuvrings in the new nation are thoroughly detailed without bias'
--Pride Magazine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

In this, the first full-scale biography of Nelson Mandela, Martin Meredith vividly captures the epic arc of a life defined by struggle against the brutality of apartheid and its eventual defeat. He provides fascinating insights into the enduring friendships Mandela forged among whites and blacks alike, into the influential role played by his communist colleagues, and into his turbulent personal life. Meredith casts light upon the dark years of Mandela's imprisonment, when, mostly forgotten by the outside world, he was banished to Robben Island, South Africa's most notorious political prison. Yet Mandela survived years of hard labor and mistreatment to emerge as a powerful symbol of national reconciliation, and his ultimate triumph was honored and acclaimed around the world. As a champion of peace and a father of a new nation, Nelson Mandela is a hero in a world where heroes are few in number. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Mandela by Martin Meredith is an excellent biography of arguably the most revered statesman of the last half of the twentieth century. A global icon of the resistance towards the apartheid regime, Mandela was able to a large extent hold together the Rainbow Nation after the transition to democracy.

It is a well-written, detailed and informative book which puts Nelson Mandela's life in the wider context of the history of South Africa in the 19th and 20th centuries. While it must be noted that the author is broadly sympathetic towards Mandela, the author is not afraid to be critical of some of his policies, actions or behaviours.

Overall, a very good book.
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By A Customer on 5 Jan. 2000
Format: Paperback
Whilst there are many Nelson Mandela books out there, it's hard to see how many could beat this. Meredith's style is easily understandable- though not the most lively. Still, the book remains engaging throughout due to it's fascinating content as it covers all areas- Mr Mandela's childhood, rise in politics, imprisonment, release, negotations and term as presedent. The book highlights the horror of Apartheid, and it's destructive effects on both sides. The author remains objective, often critical of Mandela and the ANC, thus giving greater incite into the whole chapter of South African history. As previously stated, the book would have benefited from more personality in it's style, but don't let this put you off finding out alll the facts of such an important struggle and great man.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a pretty good biography, the latest one in a series of politicians I've been reading lately ranging from Stalin to Mrs Thatcher. It's certainly worth reading, and does cover a lot of ground in a very engaging manner.
My reason for not giving it four stars or more is that it doesn't give enough information about the reasons why the South African government kept introducing the extremist rules and regulations in the decades leading up to the late 1950s in particular. These were the very important pre-aparteid and early-aparteid years which saw the most jaw-dropping repression, exclusion and segregationism come into being, but at no stage did the author convey to me what the SA government was responding to. It seems, as I approached page 100, that I was reading one severe law being passed after another as if each draconian rule was plucked out of thin air by an extremist band of largely nameless politicians. I was hoping to find out what the politicians were responding to, what led to the mindset of those in charge for decade after decade, and how such harsh laws and social restrictions were ever justified through their parliamentary process.

Also, I would like to have had some statements expanded upon. For example, in the late 1940s when Mandela was in his formative ANC years I read that the sizeable Indian community had a similar disdain for the African community as the whites did, and there were times when many communities, be they Afrikaner, Black, Coloured and so on, had to be kept seperate. How come? And then it became law in the 1950s to keep them apart. I assume there must be some kind of history of conflict or whatever there, but it's not really expanded upon.
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Format: Paperback
A highly informative portrait of one of the most remarkable men of the past century. This is a meticulously researched yet readable biography which presents the man with his aspirations, imprisonments, rise to power and personal disappointments. A 'warts and all' presentation like this - with Mandela's failings as well as his achievements and virtues - always makes the man appear greater as it's rooted in reality. This is a picture of the turbulent years of the particularly viscious apartheid system and a man who was willing to go down the road of reconciliation and nation building rather than conflict and revenge. I found the style easy - in fact I couldn't put it down. Highly recommended.
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Excellent
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