Mandela: the authorized biography

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IL: UG - BL: 11.2 - AR Pts: 51
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. Mandela's 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 He was given Mandela's complete cooperation, including access to twenty-seven years' worth of unpublished correspondence from prison and many other private documents--even the original draft of Mandela's prison autobiography, long thought to be lost. He interviewed virtually every significant living figure associated with Mandela, from childhood schoolmates to Mandela's 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 Sampson's narrative of the incredible negotiations leading to Mandela's 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 Mandela's 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 Mandela's celebrated autobiography. It will stand as an exemplar of the biographer's art at its most masterly and, even more, as a moving testament to the power of the human spirit in adversity.
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Grouped Work ID 18c169dd-1c3e-bc03-9e8b-9a9a1e72287f
full_title mandela the authorized biography
author sampson anthony
grouping_category book
lastUpdate 2018-03-22 23:14:01PM

Solr Details

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accelerated_reader_point_value 51
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author Sampson, Anthony, 1926-
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detailed_location_school Hunter's Lane High - Teen Biography, MLK Jr. Magnet - Teen Biography, Overton High - Teen Biography

Nelson Mandela, who emerged from twenty-six years of political imprisonment to lead South Africa out of apartheid and into democracy, is perhaps the world's most admired leader, a man whose life has been led with exemplary courage and inspired conviction.

Now Anthony Sampson, who has known Mandela since 1951 and has been a close observer of South Africa's political life for the last fifty years, has produced the first authorized biography, the most informed and comprehensive portrait to date of a man whose dazzling image has been difficult to penetrate. With unprecedented access to Mandela's private papers (including his prison memoir, long thought to have been lost), meticulous research, and hundreds of interviews--from Mandela himself to prison warders on Robben Island, from Walter Sisulu and Oliver Tambo to Winnie Mandela and F. W. de Klerk, and many others intimately connected to Mandela's story--Sampson has composed an enlightening and necessary story of the man behind the myth.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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subject_facet Mandela, Nelson, -- 1918-, Mandela, Nelson, -- 1918-2013, Presidents -- South Africa -- Biography, South Africa -- Politics and government -- 20th century
title_display Mandela : the authorized biography
title_full Mandela : the authorized biography / Anthony Sampson, Mandela The Authorized Biography
title_short Mandela :
title_sub the authorized biography
topic_facet Biography, Biography & Autobiography, History, Mandela, Nelson, Nonfiction, Politics, Politics and government, Presidents