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Mandela's Way: Lessons on Life, Love, and Courage Hardcover – March 30, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
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“This delightfully inspiring book is a philosophical guide to how we can aspire to achieve Mandela’s grace and how we can draw upon his greatness as a model for the comportment of our lives each day.”—Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Harvard University
“Nelson Mandela has lived every word of his teaching, whatever the cost. His abiding lesson is about forgiveness. Mandela’s Way takes us into the inner life of one of the most of important heroes of the century. There are lessons here that could radically change the way you live your life.”—Deepak Chopra, author of The Ultimate Happiness Prescription
“Mandela’s Way is a timely and welcome reminder of this great man’s political genius, personal integrity, and peerless instinct for survival and triumph. Every world leader should keep Mandela’s Way within easy reach.”—Tom Brokaw
“Here is the wisdom of the world’s greatest moral leader brilliantly distilled by a wonderful writer. From the time they spent working closely together on Mandela’s memoirs, Rick Stengel draws fifteen big life lessons plus hundreds of smaller insights, while also giving us an intimate and astonishingly honest look at this inspiring human being.”—Walter Isaacson, author of Steve Jobs and Einstein
“Mandela’s Way is an electrically exciting, direct, and vivid way of making greatness tangible, human and complex. Richard Stengel has honed all the elegance and lucidity of thirty years of brilliant cultural and political writing into a book to illuminate, to inspire—and to endure.”—Pico Iyer, author of The Open Road and The Lady and the Monk
Top Customer Reviews
I decided to finish the book anyway. At 239 short pages, it seemed a small investment to see if there was still more to learn about him.
Stengel got very close to Nelson Mandela. For an extended period, he was by his side nearly constantly and had many, many more conversations that Mandela had originally agreed to. Clearly, the picture developed by Stengel became as important to the subject as it was to the author. The unusualness of the man is clear and while few others could be expected to arrive at his style, way of thinking and manner of approaching friends and enemies alike, one comes away from this brief but important book with the sense that it is, in the end, unusual people with unusual ways who achieve unusual (and in this instance, unlikely) things.
Viewed as a traitor by some former comrades, Mandela managed to shape a new reality in South Africa by doing things thought impossible.Read more ›
Toward the end of Mandela's Way, Richard Stengel asks this question. Stengel helped Mandela write his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, in the early 1990s, and this question helped him "internalize [Mandela] and his ideas." Mandela's Way is biographical, but with a moral point. How can reflecting on the life of Nelson Mandela help us live?
The tradition of biography as moral exercise is as old as the Greeks and Romans, not to mention Jews and Christians, but it has taken new form with the uniquely American literary genre of Leadership Secrets of X, usually some famous person. When I picked up Mandela's Way, I was hoping for the older form of the tradition but worried that I would get the newer one. Few things are more aggravating than the simplification of a person's life for the purpose of making the reader a better businessman. Stengel, thankfully, did not disappoint me.
As a college student in the late 80s and early 90s, I was aware of Mandela and the struggle of the African National Congress and others to end South African apartheid. I knew little about the man, however. Mandela's Way is an excellent introduction to his life and struggle, presented thematically rather than chronologically. If one metric of a book's quality is that it inspires you to read more on the subject, then this book is quite successful.
The subtitle of Stengel's book is Fifteen Lessons on Life, Love and Courage. My guess is that Stengel's publisher came up with this verbiage, as a nod to the newer form of moral biography. The lessons are simple--"Courage is not the absence of fear," "Lead from the front," "Lead from the back," etc.--without being simplistic.Read more ›
"I've never known a human being who can be as still as Nelson Mandela," writes Richard Stengel in the introduction. "When he is sitting and listening, he does not tap his fingers or his foot, or move about. He has no nervous tics. When I have adjusted his tie or smoothed his jacket or fixed a microphone on his lapel, it was like fussing with a statue. When he listens to you, it is as though you were looking at a still photograph of him. You would barely know he was breathing."
Mandela's personality is complex and seemingly contradictory. He is still but he's also "a power charmer -- confident that he will charm you, by whatever means possible," writes Stengel. "He is attentive, courtly, winning, and, to use a word he would hate, seductive. And he works at it. He will learn as much as he can about you before meeting you."
The book is rich with telling anecdotes from Mandela's fascinating career to illustrate the fifteen lessons. Stengel had a lot of material to choose from. He worked with Mandela on his autobiography for nearly three years and "during much of that time," wrote Stengel, "I saw him almost every day. I traveled with him, ate with him, tied his shoes, straightened his tie -- and spent hours and hours in conversation with him about his life and work..."
With all this firsthand experience of Mandela, Stengel was privy to an untold number of insights into successful living.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It bridged the gap between Africa and Northern America for me... As a fellow African, I felt home.. One of my best books... Mandela, an amazing man and an amazing leader.Published 7 days ago by Laurie Jensch
The condition of the book far met might expectation. Very clean. Thank you!Published 1 month ago by Stephanie Thomas
It was a well written book about Mandela's life. Mr. Stengel had the privilege of sharing time with Mandela for quite some time, which allowed him to first hand see and understand... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
Perfect knowledge of Mandela, written in straightforward and remarkable style. Stimulating and trilling from beginning to end.Published 9 months ago by Hillmann Achuo Egbe
Read this book as a selection of our corporate book club. A nice, easy to read biography about Mandela and a commentary on his personal leadership style. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Katy Austin
Amazing, life-changing, and a book that I will always refer to in every phase of life!Published 12 months ago by Mrs. Biggers