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Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Made a Nation Paperback – July 28, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
It won't take long.
By the time Nelson Mandela walks into that stadium, your heart will be pounding. By the time he walks into the Springboks locker, you'll be in tears. And you'll cry pretty much straight through to the end.
All because, on June 24, 1995, the South African Rugby team beat New Zealand to win the Rugby World Cup.
If you're like most Americans, you know that Nelson Mandela spent 27 years in prison --- 18 of them in a tiny cell on Robben Island --- and emerged without hatred to spearhead a peaceful transfer of power in South Africa. But you probably know nothing about the 1995 Rugby World Cup match. John Carlin's brilliant book corrects that, and, along the way, presents a concise biography of a remarkable man.
In these pages, Nelson Mandela is a brilliant politician with a genius for disarming his enemies. To Mandela, everyone is human, everyone can be reached. The only question is how. In prison, he would introduce his lawyer to his "guard of honor" --- and his jailers would find themselves shaking hands with an attorney they loathed. And he used his dead time in prison to teach himself Afrikaans, read the Afrikaans newspapers and familiarize himself with Afrikaner history.
Rugby is the favorite sport of Afrikaners, the dominant white tribe in South Africa --- "apartheid's master race." All but one of the 15 players on the Springbok team were white. In a stadium that held 62,000, 95% of the crowd would be white. No wonder that blacks saw the Boks as a symbol of oppression.
"Don't address their brains," Mandela believed. "Address their hearts." One direct way to do that was through sports.Read more ›
If you have watched "Invictus" be assured that this book has much more of the background to the people and events portrayed by the movie. The added detail gives one a sharper understanding of many of the principle characters in the movie and the true scope of Mandela's brilliance.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great read. Provides great information around the Apartheid strugglePublished 2 days ago by Amazon Customer
The story of Nelson Mandela's involvement in the South African rugby World Cup triumph has been vividly told in Clint Eastwood's film based on this book. Read morePublished 17 days ago by Dr. Laurence Raw
Invictus: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Made a Nation by John Carlin was a fascinating read for many reasons for many people, but for other reasons, it was a bore, some of these... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Joshua K. P.
I really found this to be a riveting read. Nelson Mandela's ability to pull his war torn country together was fascinating. It's a testimony to the power of love and forgiveness. Read morePublished 8 months ago by K. Spangler