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Mandela : The Authorized Biography
Mandela : The Authorized Biography Anthony Sampson 0375400192 9780375400193 The life of Nelson Mandela is one of the most extraordinary epics of the twentieth century. An almost-forgotten prisoner on Robben Island twenty years ago
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Mandela : The Authorized Biography by Anthony Sampson

The life of Nelson Mandela is one of the most extraordinary epics of the twentieth century. An almost-forgotten prisoner on Robben Island twenty years ago, apparently doomed to a helpless existence as a victim of apartheid, he not only survived but almost single-handedly saved South Africa from potential chaos, to become one of the most widely admired leaders in the world. Mandelas myth is dazzling; in this magnificent biography Anthony Sampson penetrates it to show us the man himself. Sampson has known Mandela since 1951. He was given Mandelas complete cooperation, including access to twenty-seven years worth of unpublished correspondence from prison and many other private documents--even the original draft of Mandelas prison autobiography, long thought to be lost. He interviewed virtually every significant living figure associated with Mandela, from childhood schoolmates to Mandelas ex-wife, Winnie, to former president F. W. de Klerk. Mandela himself checked and annotated the manuscript, but Sampson was left free to make his own judgments about the man, which he has done with refreshing candor. The result is wonderfully revealing and objective. Mandela is filled with new insights and information. We see how prison, which he and his fellow inmates turned into a kind of unofficial university, gradually transformed Mandela from a headstrong activist into a reflective and consummately skilled statesman. We learn how British and American diplomats cold-shouldered him when support was desperately needed, and about the political infighting, sometimes vicious, that went on between anti-apartheid factions. Particularly fascinating is Sampsons narrative of the incredible negotiations leading to Mandelas release from prison and the eventual collapse of the white regime, when his colleagues feared that he was selling out to the government. At every turn, this book sheds fresh light on the moral dilemmas that Mandela was forced to face again and again in his personal and public lives. In the struggle for freedom for South African blacks, he paid a tragic price, becoming alienated from his wife and remote from his children. Yet he famously retained his humanity, and while Sampson does not conceal Mandelas failings--his stubbornness, his fixed loyalties, his princely manners and detachment--the man who emerges is authentically heroic. Broadly based, painstakingly researched, elegantly written, Mandela is a fitting complement to Mandelas celebrated autobiography. It will stand as an exemplar of the biographers art at its most masterly and, even more, as a moving testament to the power of the human spirit in adversity.

Author: Anthony Sampson

Language: English

Binding: Hardcover

Pages: 720

Publisher: Knopf

Publication Date: 1999-08-31

Our Price: $4.09

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ISBN: 0375400192


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Anthony Sampson  Hardcover


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