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Winnie Mandela: A Life Paperback – July 15, 2005

4.4 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Annè Marié du Preez Bezdrob has been a journalist since the 1970s, covering events throughout the southern African region. She has received the Namibian Journalist of the Year Award, and worked as communications consultant cum political adviser for the UN’s UNTAG mission. She worked for the UN’s Department of Public Information in New York, and ran the UN’s Political-Humanitarian Office in Bosnia. She co-anchored the SABC’s early morning news and actuality program until the end of 2001.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Random House South Africa (July 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1868729265
  • ISBN-13: 978-1868729265
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.8 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,434,961 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As is usual with public people, what most of us know about Winnie Mandela is what Western press found interesting, and not much of the early years found its way out of apartheid South Africa. Her birth in tribal royalty, and the conflict between her father's teachings and his actions may have shaped her dedication to the struggle for self determination more than her marriage to Nelson Mandela.

The incessant persecution from Secret Police, including her year and a half ordeal of solitary confinement, and extraordinary interrogations, are mighty powerful reasons for her later extremism, if the accusations are true. I can hardly recommend a book more for anyone with an interest in fairly recent history.
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Format: Paperback
This book is simply titled 'A Life', and this was one whirlwind of a life, enough to make multiple TV movies and melodramas out of. A beautiful young woman is swept off her feet by a powerful man, only for him to be thrown in jail and her to struggle on, alone with two young children, whilst bravely upholding the beliefs so important to her despite constant abuse and torment.

It sounds like a movie, but for Winnie Mandela, it was her life. It was tragic how things seemed to turn out for her, and what the years of sacrifice and pain seemed to do to her tortured soul.

It's hard to judge whether this woman is good or evil, without knowing what was true and what was fabricated to bring this strong woman to her knees. The book gives a balanced view, for the most part, but at times seems a little enamoured of her (perhaps with good reason).

For a story so dramatic, the book read a little like a text book, not being an easy read. Not that it should have been turned into a Mills and Boon, but it was a little dry at times.

Worth a read to learn about this enigmatic woman whom I knew nothing about, other than she was married to some bloke named Nelson.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really did learn much about Winnie from this book. It appears that she has endured more hardship outside than Nelson did during his long stay in prison. Although she kind of lost her way in the end South Africa should always reqard her as a national hero despite her human frailties. Good reading.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book shows us the real Winnie Mandela and how she suffered! I grew up in a world that always showed the bad stories about Winnie. I never knew her pain.

Now I really admire her and truly believe she is the mother of a nation.
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Nelson Mandela is ahero to his people and admired for his dream of a free South American. But when comes to Winnie Mandela, first thing people have said to me, what about her involvement with youth movement allegations? Well let me tell after reading this book, she is a hero too. She fought against apartheid as much as Mandela if not more and suffered as much if not more.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Extremely well written and very difficult to put down! The author lets you feel the tragedy and suffering that both Nelson and Winnie endured for their convictions to have freedom and a better life for South Africa.
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I really liked this. It managed to show what she endured for her cause and to keep Nelsons dreams alive. In my opinion i do not thik she has been given the credit she deserves for achieving an end to the evil that was apartheid
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Anne Marie du Preez Bezdrob's assessment of Winnie Madela's life was exactly what I needed to dispel the disparate images of Winnie that emerged after Nelson Mandela's death. It seemed that she was either "poor Winnie" or "witch Winnie," neither of which were true. I was absolutely captivated by this woman's life and what she went through to maintain her husband's legacy and to ensure that his name not be forgotten during the 27 years of his imprisonment--an imprisonment wrongfully based on a life-sucking policy of aparthied. What clicked for me was the Bezdrob's introduction of the possibility that Winnie was a victim of post-traumatic stress--that she was deliberately targeted so as to break her spirit. Published in 2003--seven years after Madiba (and his AFN collegues) cast Winnie aside in divorce--and a year before he retired from public life in 2003--it is hard to assess to what extent, if any, Madiba and Winnie made peace with other. But this book is a testament to what she endured and the mistakes she made while valiantly trying to hold up the African National Congress's long, long struggle against aparthied--always, always alone, lonely and without the support Nelson had with his AFN colleague's througout 27 years of imprisonment. But her spirit endured.
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