Conversations with Myself

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Overview

Nelson Mandela is widely considered to be one of the most inspiring and iconic figures of our age. Now, after a lifetime of taking pen to paper to record thoughts and events, hardships and victories, he has bestowed his entire extant personal papers, which offer an unprecedented insight into his remarkable life.

A singular international publishing event, Conversations with Myself draws on Mandela’s personal archive of never-before-seen materials to offer unique access to the ...

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Conversations with Myself

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Overview

Nelson Mandela is widely considered to be one of the most inspiring and iconic figures of our age. Now, after a lifetime of taking pen to paper to record thoughts and events, hardships and victories, he has bestowed his entire extant personal papers, which offer an unprecedented insight into his remarkable life.

A singular international publishing event, Conversations with Myself draws on Mandela’s personal archive of never-before-seen materials to offer unique access to the private world of an incomparable world leader. Journals kept on the run during the anti-apartheid struggle of the early 1960s; diaries and draft letters written in Robben Island and other South African prisons during his twenty-seven years of incarceration; notebooks from the postapartheid transition; private recorded conversations; speeches and correspondence written during his presidency—a historic collection of documents archived at the Nelson Mandela Foundation is brought together into a sweeping narrative of great immediacy and stunning power. An intimate journey from Mandela’s first stirrings of political consciousness to his galvanizing role on the world stage, Conversations with Myself illuminates a heroic life forged on the front lines of the struggle for freedom and justice.

While other books have recounted Mandela’s life from the vantage of the present, Conversations with Myself allows, for the first time, unhindered insight into the human side of the icon.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Nelson Mandela's Conversations With Myself is not an autobiography in any conventional sense. Instead, it is a gathering of documents that fully reveal the South African leader in the process of becoming himself. These testimonies include excerpts from journals hastily scrawled on the run while he was a hunted anti-apartheid activist; diaries and drafts of letters written during his quarter century of imprisonment; and speeches, correspondence and other statements written during his eventful presidency. This 448-page book could be the most personal witness to this brave man's life.

Publishers Weekly
The South African statesman and former political prisoner bares his mind and soul in this inspiring collection of writings and interviews. Culled from Mandela's letters, notebooks, taped conversations, prison diaries, calendars, and an unfinished autobiography, the material includes reminiscences of the antiapartheid movement, lessons in revolutionary theory gleaned from his guerrilla training, vignettes of prison life, seething protests to authorities, tender missives to loved ones, canny political strategizing and quiet philosophical reflections. The entries recall moments of high drama, days of dreary routine and interludes of random strangeness, including a prison screening of Revenge of the Nerds. Mandela registers his anger at the humiliations and hardships imposed on him by apartheid, and his anguish over his long separation from his family (officials even denied his requests to attend his mother's and son's funerals). But what comes through most strongly is his steadfast resolve--"the knowledge that in your day you did your duty and lived up to the expectations of your fellow man is in itself a reward"--and a shrewd, ebullient humanity that finds and embraces the good even in his prison guards. The result is a moving account of Mandela's struggle and a testament to his triumph. Photos. (Oct.)
J. M. Ledgard
…arbitrariness is what makes Conversations With Myself such dramatic reading. And there are plenty of interesting details…Its collection of letters and meditations, together with its thorough index and appendix, belongs on the shelf of anyone interested in the nature of power and resistance.
—The New York Times
From the Publisher
“What emerges from these extraordinary fragments is a sort of scrapbook that offers a rare portrait of the real man behind the legend and visionary leader … John Kani, whose voice and delivery is uncannily close to Mandela’s own, reads, making this Mandela mosaic come alive.” – BookPage

“…Kani reads with accented English that sounds similar to Mandela’s own voice (heard in bonus interviews). Kani effectively makes transcribed interviews seem spontaneous as he appropriately interjects pauses and inflections…Choral and instrumental music from the Soweto region separate sections” –Booklist

“…the writings reveal a man thinking himself into the great statesman he became. His intellect, humor, and drive shine from his words.” – AudioFile

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780374128951
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 10/11/2010
  • Pages: 480
  • Sales rank: 439,583
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Nelson Mandela is a former President of South Africa, the first to be elected in fully representative democratic elections. He was born in Transkei, South Africa, in 1918. Before his presidency, Mandela was an anti-apartheid activist and leader of the African National Congress. In 1964, he was convicted of crimes including sabotage committed in the struggle against apartheid. He was imprisoned for 27 years at Robben Island prison and Pollsmoor prison. During his incarceration, his reputation as a potent symbol of resistance to apartheid grew steadily. Released from prison in 1990, Mandela received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 and was inaugurated as President of South Africa in 1994. He is the author of the internationally bestselling autobiography Long Walk to Freedom.

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Table of Contents

Foreword Barack Obama 13

Introduction Verne Harris 19

Part 1 Pastoral 31

Chapter 1 Deep Time 35

Chapter 2 Cohort 57

Part 2 Drama 69

Chapter 3 Wings to the Spirit 73

Chapter 4 No Reason to Kill 109

Chapter 5 Bursting World 145

Chapter 6 The Chains of the Body 179

Part 3 Epic 201

Chapter 7 Unaccommodated Man 205

Chapter 8 Arras 239

Chapter 9 Accommodated Man 309

Chapter 10 Tactics 355

Chapter 11 Calendar Time 389

Part 4 Tragicomedy 459

Chapter 12 From a Polecat to a Miracle 463

Chapter 13 Away 531

Chapter 14 Home 559

Supplementary Information 583

Appendix A Timeline 585

Appendix B Maps 595

Appendix C Abbreviations for Organisations 605

Appendix D People, Places and Events 607

Select Bibliography 661

Acknowledgements 663

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Reading Group Guide

Nelson Mandela is one of the most inspiring icons of our time; numerous biographies, and his own autobiography, have traced his extraordinary journey as South Africa’s liberator. But his legendary status has also obscured many of the important truths about the events leading up to his twenty-seven-year imprisonment and its effects on his family and on the other members of the African National Congress who joined him in the fight for freedom. A landmark collection of diary entries, drafts of letters, handwritten notebook passages, interview transcripts, presidential speeches delivered in his post-apartheid homeland, and other enlightening artifacts, Conversations with Myself at last captures the realities of Mandela’s mission as it was unfolding. Showcasing a trove of historic, never-before-published documents recently bestowed on the Nelson Mandela Foundation, Conversations with Myself lets us hear from the great statesman at key moments in his life, including recollections of his career as an attorney and politician during the 1940s, when he launched a calculated grassroots effort to bring down the Goliath of apartheid, not knowing where fate would take him. The book concludes with a rare and provocative glimpse of Mandela’s reflections on the subsequent struggles of building peace and reconciliation after his release from prison in 1990.

Revealing Mandela’s inner life, Conversations with Myself allows readers to interpret for themselves the eloquent words and pivotal thought processes that made history well beyond South Africa. We hope that the following questions and discussion topics will enrich your own dialogues about Mandela’s singular legacy. 

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 32 )
Rating Distribution

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(12)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(8)

2 Star

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1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 33 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2013

    Rest in peace Nelson Mandela we love you!!!!!!!!!!

    Nelson hade a good live he fought the good fight as my parents say but i have a few things to say too
    Nelson mandela ws a noble figure to africa as their proud president and stood for the weak who could not defend them selfes nelson mandela was a figure of freedom to me he always hade a way into peoples hearts he made realize the true meaning of life i wish you my best condulenses mendela family we love you mendella

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    wow love this book

    wow love this book

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2013

    Mandela"""your legacy wil leav on

    Not bad

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 23, 2010

    full of himself

    a whole lot of dribble

    1 out of 27 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2013

    M

    Fgdujeejg

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2012

    To: below

    Ikr....blech. >:(

    0 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted November 1, 2010

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