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Nelson Mandela: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) Paperback – August 1, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0192803016 ISBN-10: 0192803018 Edition: 1st
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Editorial Reviews

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"An insightful and eminently engaging analysis from one of postcolonialism's leading scholars. This book sheds a fascinating new light on Mandela's compelling 'magic.'"--Naomi Wolf


About the Author


Elleke Boehmer is Professor in World Literatures in English at the University of Oxford. She is the author of the widely acclaimed Colonial and Postcolonial Literature: Migrant Metaphors (1995), Empire, the National and the Postcolonial (2002), Stories of Women: Gender and Narrative in the Postcolonial Nation (2005), as well as of three novels set in South Africa.
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Product Details

  • Series: Very Short Introductions
  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (August 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192803018
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192803016
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 0.6 x 4.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,141,506 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nigel Kirk on June 24, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This Very Short Introduction offers an accessible account of Mandela's thinking, associations and contribution to history.

The first sixteen page chapter seems to offer a potted biography, indeed a very, very short introduction in itself, as the author introduces her method of analysis and book layout. While this approach initially seems a little stilted and potentially duplicative, it proves entirely justified as a useful background when different aspects of Mandela's life and thinking are reviewed and analysed using a similar chronology in each chapter. It allows some of the contradictions about Mandela to be sifted through and conclusions considered.

Mandela's family, tribal upbringing and education are then reviewed, piecing together the disparate influences that would influence his future trajectory. The chronology is repeated with the shaping and testing of his political affiliations against the turbulent history of South Africa, of pan-African politics, and globally. Relationships are also charted, in particular those with African National Congress stalwarts and their Afrikaner combatants. This chapter provides an informative introduction to the roles of the key players such as Sisulu, Tambo and Slovo. The fourth chapter, 'Influences and interactions', shows the enormous importance placed upon historical precedent, analysis and then leadership by the pioneers of equality in South Africa. Mandela's collaborations are examined, and the chapter focuses significantly upon comparisons between him and each of Ghandi and Nehru, weighing up the relative merits of peaceful and armed resistance.
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Nelson Mandela: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
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