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Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela [Paperback]

Nelson Mandela
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (114 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Oct. 1 1995
The book that inspired the major new motion picture Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.

Nelson Mandela is one of the great moral and political leaders of our time: an international hero whose lifelong dedication to the fight against racial oppression in South Africa won him the Nobel Peace Prize and the presidency of his country. Since his triumphant release in 1990 from more than a quarter-century of imprisonment, Mandela has been at the center of the most compelling and inspiring political drama in the world. As president of the African National Congress and head of South Africa's antiapartheid movement, he was instrumental in moving the nation toward multiracial government and majority rule. He is revered everywhere as a vital force in the fight for human rights and racial equality.

LONG WALK TO FREEDOM is his moving and exhilarating autobiography, destined to take its place among the finest memoirs of history's greatest figures. Here for the first time, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela tells the extraordinary story of his life--an epic of struggle, setback, renewed hope, and ultimate triumph.

Frequently Bought Together

Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela + An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth + I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban
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Product Description

From Amazon

The famously taciturn South African president reveals much of himself in Long Walk to Freedom. A good deal of this autobiography was written secretly while Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years on Robben Island by South Africa's apartheid regime. Among the book's interesting revelations is Mandela's ambivalence toward his lifetime of devotion to public works. It cost him two marriages and kept him distant from a family life he might otherwise have cherished. Long Walk to Freedom also discloses a strong and generous spirit that refused to be broken under the most trying circumstances--a spirit in which just about everybody can find something to admire.

From Publishers Weekly

Winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and the first democratically elected president of South Africa, Mandela began his autobiography during the course of his 27 years in prison.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
APART FROM LIFE, a strong constitution, and an abiding connection to the Thembu royal house, the only thing my father bestowed upon me at birth was a name, Rolihlahla. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is well worth of my shelf space. July 4 2004
You should read, at least, a book or two about biographies of such noble people as Nelson Mandela, whose lives have been a blessing to the world. This was a great inspirational book and helped me to realize how simple and small things in life could bring so much joy into one's life. Far too often, I personally take simple pleasures of life for granted. The freedom is not free and the book cites how the freedom is brought at the expense of sacrifices of our fathers. The book is very well written and what impresses me is Nelson Mandela's mastery of English language.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Struggle of One Man Can Change a Nation May 29 2003
Long Walk to Freedom is an experience to be remembered. Although the book is an autobiography, the details are exquisite. It is apparent that Mandela wrote this book not to boast over a life of fame or fortune, but to guide us through a lifetime struggle filled of humiliation and pride, success and defeat. Throughout Mandela's journey, we learn insight into Mandela's thoughts, and the long walk he took to overcome the odds. Although his struggle was not easy, Mandela never quit, and for that he is a man to be commended by millions. Perhaps, Mandela wrote this book to teach us all a lesson in the true merit of human heart, "No one is born hating another person because of the color of their skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite." (622) Though the book is long, and at times tedious, it is filled with a variety of storylines that keeps the reader intrigued. Between the fight to keep his family alive and well, Mandela also battles the South African government, other political organizations, oppressors of freedom, and the South African court of law. In doing this, Mandela shows how a man's life is not only a complex event, but also a road with many paths. He also shows us how one man's paths can cross and change the course of history, and the oppression of a nation. This book is bound to keep readers captivated, as it involves more than one element of Mandela's life. No matter your name, your age, or the color of your skin, Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela is a book that will guide you through a struggle that we all are fighting for; the struggle against discrimination.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars INSPIRING!! Jan. 20 2012
This book was incredibly inspiring. It is the kind of book that you never want to put down. I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone, because I think each one of us can learn something from Nelson Mandela's thought provoking life story. Happy reading!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Portrait of a Leader for All Times Nov. 18 2008
By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
If you read only one autobiography this year, I recommend this one.

Leadership breakthroughs are few and far between. They are even rarer in the political arena. Although I had closely followed the path to an integrated democracy in South Africa (and worked hard on the anti-apartheid sanctions and boycotts), much of Nelson Mandela's struggle was hidden to me at the time. Only after the reconciliation had gone on for a number of years did it become apart how remarkable this man's contribution has been.

Recently, I read Playing the Enemy which described some of the nuances in how Mandela conceived of creating a peaceful transition through an unauthorized sole negotiation from a prison cell. Those stories impressed me even more. Now, I had to read the autobiography. And I'm glad I did.

Let me warn you, however, that Nelson Mandela is so self-effacing that the real story of what he accomplished and how he did it doesn't fully come through in the autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom. I recommend that you read Playing The Enemy first.

What the autobiography will do is show the cultural and social backgrounds of the struggle and how critical it was that Mandela be a man of honor, principle, and loyalty. He was a leader for the whole nation even when many people didn't want him to be in the nation. It's a remarkable way to be, a way that few people can accomplish.

The apartheid system was as vile a way to treat citizens as anything that has come along since Germany in the 1930s. It's hard to imagine that it arose after World War II and was so difficult to break.

The treatment of the African National Congress's leaders will appall you. Their grace will delight you.

May every nation have a Nelson Mandela to lead it!
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4.0 out of 5 stars THE DETERMINATION OF ONE MAN- A MUST READ! May 6 2004
After reading LONG WALK TO FREEDOM, I came away with a sense of awe for a man who spent 27 years in prison but never gave up the hope for his freedom and the freedom of his country.

Communicating was key to keeping the "freedom fighters" on the outside informed and encouraged. One way this was done was to write in tiny, coded script on toilet paper. The paper was so small and easily hidden that this became a popular way of smuggling out messages. When the authorities discovered a number of these communications, they took the extraordinary measure of rationing toilet paper. After awhile, only eight squares of toilet paper were given to each prisoner each day.
To live under such conditions where you can be so isolated from the world (For 27 years), that you contemplate conversing with a cockroach, is a test of the human spirit. To sacrifice the obligations of family so that a nation of people can breath in freedom is nothing short of courageous with a fiercely determined spirit. Here is what Nelson Mandela writes about in his struggle for family and nation:
I did not in the beginning choose to place my people above my family, but in attempting to serve my people, I found I was prevented from fulfilling my obligations as a son, a brother, a father, and a husband.
In that way, my commitment to my people, to the millions of South Africans I would never know or meet, was at the expense of the people I knew best and loved most. It was as simple and yet as incomprehensible as the moment a small child asks her father, "Why can you not be with us?" And the father must utter the terrible words: "There are other children like you, a great many of them....." and then one's voice trails off.
Nelson Mandela is a man that has a spirit and determination that is above and beyond most people or leaders today. READ THE BOOK!! It will open your eyes and in the end, it'll make you feel good about the human spirit.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars you don't
need me to tell you Mandela was a courageous man, a man of principle & strength. What I didn't realize was how humble and very very smart he was.
Published 1 month ago by Robert Agouri
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
The book is what I expected.
Published 2 months ago by Bruno Lair
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Wonderful autobiography by a truly remarkable man!
Published 2 months ago by Irene Carroll
5.0 out of 5 stars What an amazing good. My only regret is that I didn't ...
What an amazing good. My only regret is that I didn't read it sooner. Very inspiring book; Mandela's words will remain with me forever.
Published 2 months ago by Diana N.M
5.0 out of 5 stars A stirring account!
A story you couldn't have dreamed up. Mandela reveals tremendous insight as to the nature of his own metamorphosis from young idealist to proud freedom fighter to sophisticated... Read more
Published 3 months ago by ReadyEntrepreneur
5.0 out of 5 stars If you learned anything from school about Nelson Mandela, it's mostly...
I decided to get this book because he died recently and I wanted to know more about the person who went to prison for 27 years. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Mikerah
1.0 out of 5 stars The Hardcover version is ABRIDGED!
My wife bought this book for me from Amazon. Sadly, this hardcover version is an ABRIDGED version of Nelson Mandela's wonderful book. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Cameron Pallett
5.0 out of 5 stars A remarkable read
This is a remarkably humble writing of the life of one of the giants of the 20th and 21st century. The message of tolerance and looking forward in peace rather than violence for... Read more
Published 7 months ago by D James
4.0 out of 5 stars This book
I am just starting reading about Mandela. He was a wonderful but humble man. Should be more like him. Excellent
Published 7 months ago by C. Coombs
4.0 out of 5 stars Long walk to Freedom
Purchased for a friend. it is attractively designed - priced to sell - arrived promptly - would recommend to others to gleen history from his point of view.
Published 7 months ago by katzi
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