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Long Walk to Freedom: With Connections (HRW Library) Hardcover – Abridged, September 22, 2000
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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. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
From Publishers Weekly
Winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and the first democratically elected president of South Africa, Mandela began his autobiography during the course of his 27 years in prison.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Top customer reviews
so much injustice done upon him and his people , their only crime was their rich lands!
The book is nice, i do admire, respect and idolize the man, but unfortunately due to the fact of him spending 27 years from his life in prison, has rendered the book with lengthy chapters simply narrating the routine and boring prison daily life. It is unlike normal memoirs, were too much events and actions engulf the charcters life, such as that of Malcolm X.
However; in general the book is easy to go through, with what is sufficient to learn from this great man about resilience, persistence, leadership, dignity and hope! Never give up hope! Never break and always be optimistic!
Even while on trial with possibility of being hanged as the highest, he was still studying in preparation for his London university exams. One of his quotes , "the human body i have found has an enormous capacity for adjusting to trying circumstances. I have found that one can bear the unbearable if one can keep one`s spirits strong."
As for south Africa at the time, with its racist regime, its strict and inhuman apartheid, was like the USA of earlier times, Belgium Congo, Portuguese Angola, and many other places where the Lust and greed combined with lack of human consideration and the diseased European culture of superiority over other nations, has led to the destruction and erosion of diverse and rich ancient cultures that had complex ruling systems and lived as one with the land!
I learned a lot about Nelson Mandela whom I knew so little about. South Africa and apartheid was never a major issue in the U.S. hence I learned absolutely nothing about it in school. I remember a big deal being made about Nelson Mandela's release and his presidency but still I never knew more than apartheid was a mistreatment of Black Africans. To what extent and in what form I never knew.
This book delves into how the Afrikaans (White South Africans primarily Dutch) really treated Africans and to what lengths they went to subdue and subjugate the Africans. He discusses the National Party, the various laws enacted and his own political evolution while trying to fight injustice. I learned of the various men and women that were essential to the Africans' fight for equality and about the different groups and organizations that developed as well.
Nelson is amazing if for one thing; he could have had money and ease yet he eschewed that for being a freedom fighter. Nelson grew up a part of the household of a Chief. He got an education and became a lawyer and had considerably more money and liberties than most Africans (although considerably less than most Afrikaans). For many Africans that would have been enough to be placated and they would have sufficed with living relatively comfortably. Nelson was not satisfied with that. He desperately wanted freedom for himself and his people. They weren't slaves, but he wanted freedom in the form of equality and the absence of debilitating laws. Nelson sacrificed two marriages and quality time with his children for the "struggle". Being a freedom fighter drew him away from the home for many hours of the day, many days of the month and many months of the year to eventually many years of his and their lifetimes.
I grew to respect Mandela a lot through this book. I would have given it five stars if not for its length. Mandela was admittedly verbose. I don't know how many pages the book is because, for whatever reason, my Kindle version never told me. I could ascertain my location, my reading speed and my percent completion of the book but not the page. Whatever the amount of pages it was 115 chapters. I know that Nelson wanted to mention those things which affected him or were memorable, but it seemed he mentioned too many details.
Still, the book is excellent and a must read. I'm so happy I read it and now have a greater knowledge of South Africa's history and a greater appreciation of Nelson Mandela the man.
As it came to pass, he was never able to fulfill the destiny his family had planned for him because he went on to become, first a freedom fighter, a leader of the African National Congress, a felon and prisoner, one of the men who was most influential in creating the "Rainbow nation" of South Africa, and finally one of the most admired men in the modern world.
In this, his autobiography, Madiba (his clan name, used as a sign of great respect) tried to explain how all of this happened. He discusses his motivations, education, loves, travels, and political ambitions in detail.
I am astounded by this man. He owns his mistakes and failures as readily as his successes. He was unable to surrender his ideals or self respect unless he found something of more value to his people, but he also insisted on treating everyone he met with the same level of respect and courtesy no matter that person's age, sex or station.
Because of him and the other leaders of the South African fight for equal rights, that nation had a peaceful transition from a racist white minority government to a democratic republic where everyone was to be equal under the law. Instead of punishment for crimes committed by the white minority or answered violently be the non-white majority, a board of inquiry investigated, reconciled, and helped people forgive and begin to move forward.
This great man died on December 5 2013. The world mourned. Because of how deeply he has affected me I have promised him that I will purge the racism I still occasionally trip over in my life. I will further endeavor to treat all people with respect, humor, and good-will. May his face be locked in each person's mind's eye to remind them of how much work is still to be done so that every one is treated in accordance with the Freedom Charter.