Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela– Book Review

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Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela– Book Review

"…calm, patient determination to reclaim this country as your own, and now the joy that we can loudly proclaim from the rooftops--Free at last! Free at last! ... This is a time to heal the old wounds and build a new South Africa." Nelson Mandela fought his entire life. Nelson Mandela fought a fight for civil rights in South Africa on the streets and behind the prison walls. Even after 27 years behind those walls Mandela maintained his dignity and rose to be the first Black President of South Africa.

Nelson Mandela's Autobiography "Long Walk to Freedom" was written up to the point Mandela won the first free election in South Africa in 1994. Before reading the summary that follows the reader should know that this is an autobiography, written by Mandela himself, so there will be bias, but by doing some external research on Mandela you would find that Mandela is not a person to hold a grudge against his oppressors.

In the Transki region along the Indian Ocean, July 18, 1918, Mandela was born to a Thembu chief and his third wife. Mandela was raised by his mother were they led a simple life, a self reliant tribe. Here they farmed and raised their own cattle. This was a black tribal community were Anglo-Saxons were looked as gods from another place; they were to be viewed with awe and fear. In this black community a black teacher gave him an easy to pronounce (and white) first name of Nelson. At the age of nine Nelson received the word his father died. So he left his mother village to be raised by the Thembu Council. This was the region center for all tribe leaders to meet an...

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Mandela's story is an in-depth exploration broader than the light overview of South Africa's apartheid given by the text book. The writing of the autobiography is easy to read, clear and precise. It does not contain any footnotes or endnotes, but in most biographies of any kind there are few citing. There are no maps, charts or tables but in the spirit of it following a mans story there could only be a time line, but a time line would be overwhelmed by the 27 years Mandela spent in prison.

Long Walk to Freedom is a useful book and makes a contribution to the reader on the understanding of the struggle all minorities (and even majorities) of oppressed people face. And how a good soul can rise above the hatred and forgive his oppressors to be a universally acclaimed symbol for the search of uncompromised freedom.

*note - all quotes drom "Long Walk to Freedom"
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