The Prison Letters of Nelson Mandela Summary and Reviews

The Prison Letters of Nelson Mandela

by Nelson Mandela

The Prison Letters of Nelson Mandela by Nelson Mandela X
The Prison Letters of Nelson Mandela by Nelson Mandela
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  • Published in USA  Jul 2018
    640 pages
    Genre: Biography/Memoir

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Book Summary

An unforgettable portrait of one of the most inspiring historical figures of the twentieth century, published on the centenary of his birth.

Arrested in 1962 as South Africa's apartheid regime intensified its brutal campaign against political opponents, forty-four-year-old lawyer and African National Congress activist Nelson Mandela had no idea that he would spend the next twenty-seven years in jail. During his 10,052 days of incarceration, Mandela wrote hundreds of letters to unyielding prison authorities, fellow activists, government officials, and most memorably to his courageous wife, Winnie, and his five children.

Now, 255 of these letters, a majority of which were previously unseen, provide the most intimate portrait of Mandela since Long Walk to Freedom. Whether writing about the death of his son Thembi after a request to attend the funeral was ignored, providing unwavering support to his also-imprisoned wife, or outlining a human-rights philosophy that resonates today, The Prison Letters of Nelson Mandela reveals the heroism of a man who refused to compromise his moral values in the face of extraordinary human punishment. Ultimately, they position Mandela, along with Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., among the most inspiring historical figures of the twentieth century.

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Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Venter adds tremendous value with his annotations and introductions to the work as a whole and to the book's various sections. A valuable contribution to our understanding of one of history's most vital figures." - Kirkus

"Anyone seeking to understand one of the guiding lights of the anti-apartheid fight will find these letters a vital resource." - Publishers Weekly

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Author Information

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela (1918-2013) was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician, and philanthropist, who served as the first democratically-elected President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. Mandela established the Nelson Mandela Foundation as his post-presidential office in 1999. It is a not-for-profit organization which has, since 2004, been transformed into an archive and trusted voice on his life and times. It carries out its mandate to promote Mandela's vision and work by convening dialogues and creating platforms for engagement around critical issues to promote social justice.

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