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Nelson Mandela 1918 – 2013

December 6, 2013 by Reader's Connection

South African anti-apartheid activist, political prisoner and president Nelson Mandela died on Thursday at the age of 95. You can search by his name in our catalog to see a list of the library’s books, DVDs, CDs and downloadable media about this heroic figure.


Conversations With Myself (2010)

Conversations With MyselfHe has been called the most famous person in the world. Certainly for 27 years he was the most famous prisoner until his release in 1990 and then his election in 1994 as the first president of a democratic South Africa. He was welcomed by the pope, the queen, and world leaders everywhere. But even with the shelves of books by and about him, this volume of personal papers, published worldwide in 21 editions and languages, adds much that has never been said before about Nelson Mandela, including diary entries from his time in the underground, debates about passive resistance and guerrilla warfare, letters from prison, and recorded reminiscences with former fellow prisoners. Mandela knew that his letters, even those to his young daughters, might not get past the prison censors, so he kept copies in a journal that was always with him. Now official archivists have arranged this material chronologically, including some facsimiles in Mandela’s own handwriting. Yes, readers will skip some of the bits and pieces, but not much. He is as eloquent about the personal, such as his two-year “honeymoon” with his wife, Winnie . . . With a foreword by Barack Obama, this insightful volume includes a time line, map, and detailed notes on related people, places, and events. — Booklist

Also available as a downloadable audiobook and an audiobook on CD.


Long Walk to Freedom : The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela (1994)

Long Walk to Freedom : The Autobiography of Nelson MandelaIn 1918 Nelson Mandela was born, the son of a tribal chief in the Xhosa nation. In 1994 has was elected the first black president of a South Africa newly free of apartheid. In the 76 intervening years, Mandela’s path was the path of his pepole and his country: painful, obstacle-ridden, often seemingly impassable. Here the leader of black South Africans’ fight for freedom details each step of that journey. He writes with respect and affection of the traditional culture in which he was raised, even of his ritual circumcision at the age of 16; and he describes with remarkable dispassion the events that aided his growing politicization, such as the failed miners’ strike of 1946; his quest for dignity even while imprisoned on Robben Island; and the dramatic negotiations with President F.W. De Klerk that culminated in a peaceful revolution in South Africa. This memoir is remarkably free of polemics, self-pity, and self-aggrandizement. It is the work ofo a man who has led by action and example–a man who is one of the few genuine heroes we have. — Kirkus Reviews

Also available as a downloadable e-book, a downloadable audiobook and an abridged audiobook on CD, read by Danny Glover.


Nelson Mandela : A Life in Photographs (2009), text by John D. Battersby

TITLEWith beautiful color photos and well-chosen text, including contributions from South African journalist Battersby and six of Nelson Mandela’s seminal speeches, this enlightening coffee table tour covers all stages of Mandela’s career: a young and passionate activist, an eloquent spokesman for his oppressed countrymen, a political prisoner of 27 years, a transformative president, a larger-than-life international figure of peace, and an eternally charming elder statesman (one of many memorable full-page photos shows Queen Elizabeth breaking into an uncharacteristically broad smile in Mandela’s presence). Battersby quotes Mandela the outspoken (“The grave plight of the people compels them to resist to the death the stinking policies of the gangsters that rule our country”) and unafraid (“[Democracy] is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die”), and explains the man vividly on Mandela’s own terms and the world’s: “As he was paraded on the rooftops of limousines, in pickups, and on podiums, Mandela walked the talk.” — Publishers Weekly


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