Nelson Mandela

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician and philanthropist who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was South Africa's first black chief executive, and the first elected in a fully representative democratic election. His government focused on dismantling the legacy of apartheid through tackling institutionalised racism, poverty and inequality, and fostering racial reconciliation. Politically an African nationalist and democratic socialist, he served as President of the African National Congress from 1991 to 1997. Internationally, Mandela was Secretary General of the Non-Aligned Movement from 1998 to 1999.
A Xhosa born to the Thembu royal family, Mandela attended the Fort Hare University and the University of Witwatersrand, where he studied law. Living in Johannesburg, he became involved in anti-colonial politics, joining the ANC and becoming a founding member of its Youth League.
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An unforgettable portrait of one of the most inspiring historical figures of the twentieth century, published on the centenary of his birth.

Arrested in 1962 as South Africa’s apartheid regime intensified its brutal campaign against political opponents, forty-four-year-old lawyer and African National Congress activist Nelson Mandela had no idea that he would spend the next twenty-seven years in jail. During his 10,052 days of incarceration, the future leader of South Africa wrote a multitude of letters to unyielding prison authorities, fellow activists, government officials, and, most memorably, to his courageous wife, Winnie, and his five children. Now, 255 of these letters, many of which have never been published, provide exceptional insight into how Mandela maintained his inner spirits while living in almost complete isolation, and how he engaged with an outside world that became increasingly outraged by his plight.

Organized chronologically and divided by the four venues in which he was held as a sentenced prisoner, The Prison Letters of Nelson Mandela begins in Pretoria Local Prison, where Mandela was held following his 1962 trial. In 1964, Mandela was taken to Robben Island Prison, where a stark existence was lightened only by visits and letters from family. After eighteen years, Mandela was transferred to Pollsmoor Prison, a large complex outside of Cape Town with beds and better food, but where he and four of his comrades were confined to a rooftop cell, apart from the rest of the prison population. Finally, Mandela was taken to Victor Verster Prison in 1988, where he was held until his release on February 11, 1990.

With accompanying facsimiles of some of his actual letters, this landmark volume reveals how Mandela, a lawyer by training, advocated for prisoners’ human rights. It reveals him to be a loving father, who wrote to his daughter, “I sometimes wish science could invent miracles and make my daughter get her missing birthday cards and have the pleasure of knowing that her Pa loves her,” aware that photos and letters he sent had simply disappeared.

More painful still are the letters written in 1969, when Mandela—forbidden from attending the funerals of his mother and his son Thembi—was reduced to consoling family members through correspondence. Yet, what emerges most powerfully is Mandela’s unfaltering optimism: “Honour belongs to those who never forsake the truth even when things seem dark & grim, who try over and & over again, who are never discouraged by insults, humiliation & even defeat.”

Whether providing unwavering support to his also-imprisoned wife or outlining a human-rights philosophy that resonates today, The Prison Letters of Nelson Mandela reveals the heroism of a man who refused to compromise his moral values in the face of extraordinary punishment. Ultimately, these letters position Mandela as one of the most inspiring figures of the twentieth century.

 

From The Prison Letters of Nelson Mandela

 

“A new world will be won not by those who stand at a distance with their arms folded, but by those who are in the arena, whose garments are torn by storms & whose bodies are maimed in the course of contest.”

“I am convinced that floods of personal disaster can never drown a determined revolutionary nor can the cumulus of misery that accompanies tragedy suffocate him.”

“My respect for human beings is based, not on the colour of a man’s skin nor authority he may wield, but purely on merit.”

“A good pen can also remind us of the happiest moments in our lives, bring noble ideas into our dens, our blood & our souls. It can turn tragedy into hope & victory.”

The long-awaited second volume of Nelson Mandela’s memoirs, left unfinished at his death and never before available, are here completed and expanded with notes and speeches written by Mandela during his historic presidency, making for a moving sequel to his worldwide bestseller Long Walk to Freedom.

“I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can rest only for a moment, for with freedom comes responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not ended.”

In 1994, Nelson Mandela became the first president of a democratic South Africa. From the outset, he was committed to serving only a single five-year term. During his presidency, he and his government ensured that all of South Africa’s citizens became equal before the law, and he laid the foundation for turning a country riven by centuries of colonialism and apartheid into a fully functioning democracy.

Dare Not Linger is the story of Mandela’s presidential years, drawing heavily on the memoir he began to write as he prepared to leave office, but was unable to finish. Now the acclaimed South African writer Mandla Langa has completed the task, using Mandela’s unfinished draft, detailed notes that Mandela made as events were unfolding, and a wealth of unseen archival material. With a prologue by Mandela’s widow, Graça Machel, the result is a vivid and often inspirational account of Mandela’s presidency and the creation of a new democracy. It tells the story of a country in transition and the challenges Mandela faced as he strove to make his vision for a liberated South Africa a reality.

La autobiografía de Nelson Mandela escrita de su puño y letra.

La vida un hombre extraordinario, un héroe internacional, uno de los grandes líderes morales y políticos de nuestro tiempo.

El largo camino hacia la libertad es la estimulante historia de la vida épica de Nelson Mandela, una historia de adversidades, resistencia y triunfo final narrada con la claridad y elocuencia de un líder nato.

Nelson Mandela representa para millones de personas el triunfo de la dignidad y de la esperanza sobre la desesperación y el odio, de la autodisciplina y el amor sobre la persecución y la ignominia. Su extraordinaria vida consagrada a la lucha contra la opresión racial lo hizo merecedor del Premio Nobel de la Paz y lo alzó a la presidencia de su país.

Desde su triunfal puesta en libertad en 1990 se convirtió en el centro del acontecimiento político más complejo y alentador de los últimos tiempos.

En El largo camino hacia la libertad Nelson Mandela recorre el sendero de su extraordinaria vida. Descubriremos sus primeros pasos como estudiante y pasante en Johannesburgo, el lento despertar de su conciencia política, la ruptura de su primer matrimonio, la dolorosa separación de sus hijos, los veintisiete años que estuvo en prisión -repletos de acontecimientos-, su libertad y la instauración definitiva en Sudáfrica de una democracia multirracial.

Una obra magistral destinada a ocupar un lugar de honor entre las memorias de las figuras más importantes de la historia.

Las palabras de Mandela:
«No nací con hambre de libertad, nací libre en todos los aspectos que me era dado conocer. [...] Solo cuando empecé a comprender que mi libertad infantil era una ilusión, cuando descubrí, siendo joven, que mi libertad ya me había sido arrebatada, fue cuando empecé a añorarla.»

«Me gustan los amigos que tienen pensamientos independientes, porque suelen hacerte ver los problemas desde todos los ángulos».

«Debemos usar el tiempo sabiamente y darnos cuenta de que siempre es el momento oportuno para hacer las cosas bien».

La crítica ha dicho:
«Uno de los libros más positivos que leerás.»
GQ

«Indispensable... La historia de un vida única.»
Anthony Sampson

«Brilla con la luminosidad de la fe en la invencible naturaleza de la esperanza y la dignidad humanas. Inolvidable...»
Andri Brink

«Una historia épica de lucha y aprendizaje y crecimiento. Narra la vida de un hombre cuyo idealismo y esperanza inspiraron a un mundo propenso al cinismo. Debería ser una lectura obligada.»
Mary Benson, Daily Telegraph

«Un trozo de historia reciente y un ejemplo para quienes se ahogan en las pequeñas miserias diarias.»
Interviú

Nelson Mandela er en af de mest inspirerende og ikoniske skikkelser i vor tid. Nu har han, efter livet igennem at have sat pen på papiret for at nedskrive tanker og begivenheder, prøvelser og sejre, åbnet for sit personlige arkiv, der giver et sjældent indblik i hans bemærkelsesværdige liv.

Eftertanker giver læseren adgang til privatmennesket bag den offentlige skikkelse: fra breve skrevet i de mørkeste stunder af Mandelas 27-årige fængselsliv til kladden til en uudgivet fortsættelse af Vejen til frihed. Her tager han notater eller tegner endda kruseduller under møder eller nedskriver urolige drømme på skrivebordskalenderen i sin celle på Robben Island; skriver dagbog, mens han er på flugt under anti-apartheidkampene i begyndelsen af 1960’erne eller taler med venner i 72 timers optagelse af samtaler. På disse sider er han hverken et ikon eller en helgen; her er han et menneske som dig og mig.

Eftertanker er en personlig rejse fra de første bevægelser i Mandelas politiske samvittighed til hans medrivende rolle på verdensarenaen. Bogen giver en sjælden mulighed for at være tæt på mennesket Nelson Mandela gennem hans egen stemme, der er direkte, klar og personlig.

"Jeg prøvede at forestille mig Mandela - den myte, der forandrede historien - som Mandela, den mand, der havde ofret så meget for forandringen. Eftertanker gør verden en enestående tjeneste ved at give os dette billede af Mandela som menneske."
Præsident Barack Obama

"I det virkelige liv har vi ikke med guder at gøre, men med almindelige mennesker som os selv, mænd og kvinder der er fulde af modsigelser, der er stabile og vægelsinde¬de, stærke og svage, berømte og ukendte." Nelson Mandela


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