After being released from prison and winning South Africa’s first free election, Nelson Mandela presided over a country still deeply divided by fifty years of apartheid. His plan was ambitious if not far-fetched: use the national rugby team, the Springboks—long an embodiment of white-supremacist rule—to embody and engage a new South Africa as they prepared to host the 1995 World Cup. The string of wins that followed not only defied the odds, but capped Mandela’s miraculous effort to bring South Africans together again in a hard-won, enduring bond.
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Oscar Pistorius made history as the first amputee to compete against able-bodied runners at the 2012 London Olympics. A hero in his native South Africa, the “Blade Runner” as he is known for his futuristic prosthetic legs, became a global icon of resilience and determination.
But less than a year later, Pistorius rocked the world once again when he shot his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp, through a closed bathroom door in the early hours of February14, 2013. Charged with murder, he claimed self-defense, contending that he had acted in a blind panic, imagining an intruder had broken in. But as the investigation moved to trial—during which the prosecution sought to prove that he killed her in a rage after an argument—a picture emerged of a traumatized individual fascinated with guns and assailed, behind the heroic facade, by anguish and self-doubt.
Acclaimed journalist John Carlin follows the trials of this fallen champion, detailing his fraught upbringing, his almost superhuman rise to athletic glory, and the mysterious circumstances surrounding Steenkamp’s death. At the center of Pistorius’s story is South Africa—a young democracy stained by a history of racial disparity and levels of criminal violence that are among the highest in the world.
Thoughtful and probing, Chase Your Shadow offers a piercing look at this intriguing modern tragedy, bringing to life a complex figure and the troubled land that shaped him.
As a foreign correspondent based in South Africa, author John Carlin had unique access to Mandela during the post-apartheid years when Mandela faced his most daunting obstacles and achieved his greatest triumphs. Carlin witnessed history as Mandela was released from prison after twenty-seven years and ultimately ascended to the presidency of his strife-torn country.
Drawing on exclusive conversations with Mandela and countless interviews with people who were close to him, Carlin has crafted an account of a man who was neither saint nor superman. Mandela's seismic political victories were won at the cost of much personal unhappiness and disappointment.
Knowing Mandela offers an intimate understanding of one of the most towering and remarkable figures of our age.
Entre el 11 de febrero de 1990 y el 10 de mayo de 1994, Nelson Mandela pasó de ser el prisionero político más famoso del mundo a presidente de su país. Fueron cuatro años vertiginosos y fascinantes que dieron la talla humana y política de un líder excepcional.
John Carlin, observador privilegiado de esa etapa, traza un emocionante retrato de Mandela en el que demuestra que se puede ser un gran político sin dejar de ser una gran persona, y que la reconciliación y la convivencia son no solo deseables sino posibles incluso en las circunstancias más difíciles.
«John Carlin ha sido muy valiente a la hora de escribir sobre nuestro país y ha contado cosas que muchos periodistas nunca se hubieran atrevido a explicar.»
«Creo que por muy importante que haya podido ser la presencia de Mandela en el escenario global, todavía queda mucho que decir acerca del hombre que fue, sobre la calidad de su liderazgo y el legado que deja al mundo. Mi esperanza es que cuando los lectores terminen este libro tengan un conocimiento más profundo de Mandela como individuo y comprendan por qué ha sido, tanto en lo moral como en lo político, la figura más destacada de nuestra era.»