I grew up while Mandela was in prison, and apartheid in South Africa was the first injustice I was aware of. My first experience with activism, in Amherst MA with the mighty activist Frances Crow, was running around town putting up posters with Mandela's face on them. Mandela screwed up my hair: in high school my mom wouldn't let me grow it long until I claimed that I wasn't cutting it until Mandela was freed, which she felt she couldn't argue with. They freed him like six months later and I was like aw, man. It seemed like a foolproof plan! I got to see him speak shortly afterwards in Boston on his freedom tour, but I didn't have a chance to tell him about my hair.
This is all to say that reading this book was a powerful experience for me. Mandela is one of history's true heroes of freedom. To be able to read his words is special and of immense value.
- See a Problem?.
- The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda/Volume 2/Jnana-Yoga/Maya and Freedom.
- The Pilgrim's Progress - Wikipedia.
- Concerto in G Major - Violin 3;
I got actual chills at times, reading about how for example he refused to be freed if it meant compromising his movement. He was in jail for nearly 30 years.
Warriors Don't Cry
This isn't one of those books that makes you realize that the writer is just a person like you and me. Mandela was not like you and me. He was a titan. View all 4 comments. Jun 28, Caroline rated it it was amazing Recommended to Caroline by: Donna. Shelves: to-read-selms-orders , auto-and-biog , 5-star-books.
I am wholly inadequate to give a review of the book as such, but here, as usual, are a few notes to remind myself of the reading Not a man to deviate from the path he has chosen, and throughout his life he seems wholly driven to do what he must do, whatever the odds against him.
Interestingly he was every bit as much a political animal in prison as he was when a free man. He would argue for the right to eat decent food, or wear long trousers, or for the rights of his fellow inmates — just as he would argue for the rights of his fellow men and women within the broader scope of Africa. He has always has an innate sense of justice, wherever he is. Always, in every situation, he strives for justice, rationality and peacemaking. Not peacemaking at all costs it was his idea to implement a militant arm of the ANC , but peacemaking wherever possible.
He continued his behind-the-scenes talks with President de Klerk in the early s when most people would simply have walked away in frustration. Always, Mandela was trying to establish ties, rather than cause rifts. He is also generous when talking about his two ex wives, being supportive of Winnie in spite of the publicity against her. In all his relationships with people he seems to have strived to keep channels of communication open, and relations civil. But there it is - page after page testifying a commitment to openness and communication.
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M joined in For the most part it was an organisation of peaceful protest, but in the early s M called for militant opposition. This was mostly to take the form of sabotage. It was decided that this would be carried out under separate umbrella — a militant arm of the ANC.
White South Africans are incredibly lucky that it was the ANC that came to be the party of power, and that the proposed way forward was one of peaceful reconciliation. The Inkatha Freedom Party also objected to them, though I have not really been able to fathom out why. It was a very nasty divide though, with the IFP being very aggressive, and there were many attacks and killings in ANC strongholds done by the IFP, especially when talks between M and President de Klerk became serious.
Investigations found that the IFP had been given finances by the police, and other bodies that were against the breakdown of apartheid. But this is some of the legislation that was introduced under the auspices of earlier, British-friendly governments. So — the rot was setting in well before The Nationalist Party came to power. But things went from bad to worse under The Nationalist Party. Here is some of the legislation that they introduced.
This required separate urban areas for each racial group. Separate ethnic enclaves or homelands were created for all African citizens. There were various everyday crimes that faced Africans. In M opened a law practice with Oliver Tambo, and on a daily basis they were defending people against these charges. At this time theirs was the only black law practice in the country.
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Typical crimes specific to Africans. At pages it is a bit of a door stopper — but it is infinitely readable. Mandela writes wonderfully well, and his story is utterly gripping. It was a bittersweet read for me at this time, as he draws to the end of his life.
He has been a monument on our landscape for so long, and such a great hero in the eyes of so many.
Me included. View all 11 comments. Jan 14, Amanda Brinkmann rated it it was amazing Shelves: classics-reads.
I tried reading this book SO many times right after it was published - but found myself so upset and saddened, that I realised I was simply not emotionally ready to deal with the contents. So - it sat on my shelf for nearly 10 years, before I felt ready and healed enough to pick the book up again. It was, for me, a riveting read. I sobbed my way through a great many of the sections, I learned so much about the history of my country and the genesis of the African National Congress and its original I tried reading this book SO many times right after it was published - but found myself so upset and saddened, that I realised I was simply not emotionally ready to deal with the contents.
I sobbed my way through a great many of the sections, I learned so much about the history of my country and the genesis of the African National Congress and its original noble and lofty ideals. The wisdom, strength, fortitude and humanity of Nelson Mandela - our Madiba - radiated from every page.
I felt very enriched after closing the last page of the book. I also felt an immense sense of bereftment, anger [ because of the realisation about just how MUCH had in fact been censored and kept away from me, whilst growing up, by the Apartheid government] and also sadness. It took me months to process all of the information, but it certainly provided me with another layer of knowledge and perspective so as to better understand the psyche of the people of our Rainbow Nation. A must-read.
However, I just scratched the surface of him t as my teacher did not tell much details about him as if he was not attached much importance to the subject. If I were my teacher, I would have told much more about him. In fact, I mistook him for a Black-American.
– A Life Commentary –
I was still an ignoramus at that time despite the fact that I was enthused about studying history. Few years later, he drew my attention when he was in the news ; he was reported to have passed away. The world was so grieved by his death that he was almost the headlines of all the newspapers and news programs. Only that time did I realize that he was such a big name in the world. As usual, I desired to know him more by reading his life.
However, I did not afford to buy his book then. Eventually, my generous-to-fault student gifted me this book. Of course, I grinned from ear to ear with joy. Full of enthusiasm, I started to read it. However, it took me time to finish it and ended up on my study table for a few months. For your information, South Africa has many official languages, and English is one of them. Thus, not the majority of its population uses the language every day. Another impressive thing about writing his autobiography is his capability to incorporate his various feelings, be they in positive or negative, into his compelling narrations.
Sometimes, other autobiographers write with highfalutin, highbrow, and high-flown stories or with unfathomably philosophical insights beyond my understanding , but still I try to bend my mind to them until I bash my head against the wall ending up into a library of books or surfing the internet.
Everyone can take a fancy for his diary unless you are that a political animal. You might get tired of them , saturated with the words you need to absorb in and turn over in your mind. In fact, it has pages, the thickest book I have read this year. Thus, you have no choice but to turn to Google or to a library of history books if you are a Luddite in order to understand them by heart.
Reading his speeches is also page-turning. I tend to read his narrations as fast as I could in order to imaginatively listen to them. As a matter of fact, I tended to search his speeches on Youtube wondering how he delivered them. Malcolm X , based on his best-selling authorized biography, also believed that Black-Americans should be equal to White Americans. He demonstrated against the culture of discrimination against his fellow Blacks.
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