||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 anti-apartheid 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. The foster son of a Thembu chief, Mandela was raised in the traditional, tribal culture of his ancestors, but at an early age learned the modern, inescapable reality of what came to be called apartheid, one of the most powerful and effective systems of oppression ever conceived. In classically elegant and engrossing prose, he tells of his early years as an impoverished student and law clerk in Johannesburg, of his slow political awakening, and of his pivotal role in the rebirth of a stagnant ANC and the formation of its Youth League in the 1950s. He describes the struggle to reconcile his political activity with his devotion to his family, the anguished breakup of his first marriage, and the painful separations from his children. He brings vividly to life the escalating political warfare in the fifties between the ANC and the government, culminating in his dramatic escapades as an underground leader and the notorious Rivonia Trial of 1964, at which he was sentenced to life imprisonment. Herecounts the surprisingly eventful twenty-seven years in prison and the complex, delicate negotiations that led both to his freedom and to the beginning of the end of apartheid. Finally he provides the ultimate inside account of the unforgettable events since his release that produced at last a free, multiracial democracy in South Africa. To millions of people around the world, Nelson Mandela stands, as no other living figure does, for the triumph of dignity and hope over despair and hatred, of self-discipline and love over persecution and evil.
||The world celebrated in 1990 when South African activist Nelson Mandela was released from prison, where he had lingered for almost a quarter century because of his relentless anti-apartheid stance. However, after such a long imprisonment, many of Mandela's own generation had forgotten his heroic struggle, while to the next generation, he was merely a symbol of the oppression of the past. In this exceptional autobiography, Mandela relives his story with the same resonance, resilience, and grace that have marked his lifelong crusade for human rights. Mandela was raised as the foster son of a tribal chief in the rural village of Transkei, but he was eventually educated in the modern ways of the world. He poetically depicts his political awakening as an impoverished student in Johannesburg, which led to his involvement with the African National Congress, a nearly dormant resistance group that he helped to revive into a powerful coalition for justice and equality. He dramatically documents his years as an underground fighter, his eventual capture and trial, and his prolonged years of imprisonment, where he continued to act as a prominent voice for the ANC and spent years delicately negotiating his own release. As Mandela will be remembered as one of the most significant figures of the 20th century, this seminal text is certain to remain one of the most important memoirs of our time.