Mandela: A Critical Life [NOOK Book]

Overview

A new and highly revealing look at one of the most celebrated political figures of our times. Drawing upon a range of original sources, Tom Lodge explores the making of a modern-day political hero, from Mandela's childhood years through to his role as a statesman in the construction of the new South Africa. - ;Nelson Mandela, the first African politician to acquire a world following, remains in the 21st century an iconic figure. But what are the sources of his almost mythic appeal? And to what extent did Mandela ...
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Mandela: A Critical Life

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Overview

A new and highly revealing look at one of the most celebrated political figures of our times. Drawing upon a range of original sources, Tom Lodge explores the making of a modern-day political hero, from Mandela's childhood years through to his role as a statesman in the construction of the new South Africa. - ;Nelson Mandela, the first African politician to acquire a world following, remains in the 21st century an iconic figure. But what are the sources of his almost mythic appeal? And to what extent did Mandela self-consciously create the status of political hero that he now enjoys?

This new and highly revealing biography examines these questions in detail for the first time. Drawing on a range of original sources, it presents a host of fresh insights about the shaping of Mandela's personality and public persona, from his childhood days and early activism, through his long years of imprisonment, to his presidency of the new South Africa. Throughout, Lodge emphasizes the crucial interplay between Mandela's public career and his personal or private world, showing how his
heroic status was a product both of his leading position within the anti-apartheid movement and his own deliberate efforts to supply a form of quasi-messianic leadership for that movement.

And as Lodge shows, Mandela's huge international appeal is a compelling and unusual cocktail. Of the sacred and the secular. Of traditional African values and global media savvy. And of human vulnerablilty interwoven with the grand narrrative of liberation throughout the story of this exceptional life. - ;Mr Lodge's elegant biography will be essential reading for anyone wishing to look behind the myth. He has a strong feel for South Africa's history. His anecdotes are well chosen and insightful, and serve to remind the reader that Mr Mandela, although an exceptional figure, still remains all too human. s - ;In this illuminating bio....Lodge makes an important contribution with his argument that Mandela's appeal rests in his ability to personify his political beliefs. - Publishers Weekly;thoughtful and educated appraisal - Rodger Hutchinson, The Scotsman;Lodge tells the story at a cracking pace...The strength of this book is that it tells its extraordinary tale with clarity, narrative focus and analytical shrewdness, teasing out the man from the encrusted myth - Bryan Roston Tribune d 22/09/2006
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Editorial Reviews

Glenn Frankel
Tom Lodge's Mandela: A Critical Life is an attempt to rescue the real man -- virtues and blemishes alike -- from the frozen wasteland of sainthood. Lodge is a political scientist who has spent his professional life rigorously and fearlessly charting the complex and treacherous crosscurrents of South African political life, from the apartheid era to the age of black rule. While he is a white liberal with enormous personal sympathy for the cause of black liberation, he has never hesitated to write critically and analytically about black politics and politicians.
— The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
Nelson Mandela is perhaps the world's most revered living political figure for his role in transforming South Africa into a true democracy. In this illuminating bio, University of Limerick professor Lodge (Politics in South Africa) shows how Mandela's struggle for equality brought him to prominence. Though Mandela is hardly lacking biographers, Lodge makes an important contribution with his argument that Mandela's appeal rests on his ability to personify his political beliefs. Mandela's politics, which emphasize a mix of authority, empathy and respect for all people, are mirrored by his actions and behavior toward everyone he's come in contact with, thereby allowing his personal grace and dignity to be a political gesture. According to Lodge, Mandela's magnanimity serves as a model for a new kind of citizenship, one that embraces difference and the messiness of democracy without sacrificing the gentlemanly restraint Mandela associated with English political institutions. Lodge is careful to give Mandela an assertive role in this process, showing how he cultivated his own life story and his status as a martyr for justice in order to hasten the coming of democracy to his country. Vivid descriptions of the daily horrors of apartheid and the men and women around Mandela, such as his ex-wife Winnie and the troubled F.W. de Klerk, reveal the complicated world that Mandela ultimately and triumphantly managed to change. 17 b&w photos not seen by PW. (Sept. 30) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Foreign Affairs
Lodge, a well-regarded longtime observer of South African politics, has written a splendid biography of South Africa's first democratic president. Nelson Mandela's life has been too well documented, not least in his own comprehensive autobiography, for Lodge's consistently readable account to reveal many previously unknown anecdotes. Instead of trying to unearth new details, Lodge focuses on Mandela's roots and education in order to explain his subsequent approach to politics as leader of the African National Congress. Lodge points to a youth in the Thembu aristocracy in Transkei, an Anglophile education in Methodist schools, and training as a lawyer to explain Mandela's sense of personal destiny, attachment to British-style democratic institutions, and ability to bridge his country's political divides. He shows how a combination of self-conscious charisma, graceful manners, and a deeply ingrained sense of political tolerance proved key to his effectiveness as a leader of the transition. Mandela's personal assets of a mythical stature within the ANC and the grudging respect of even the most intractable Afrikaner conservatives were based on skills and attitudes cultivated from childhood. Lodge avoids hagiography, notably in a final chapter that offers a measured and not uncritical assessment of Mandela's presidency, while making a compelling case for the man's historical importance.
Library Journal
Lodge has written a great biography. Not only has he consulted earlier studies of Mandela, as well as Mandela's own Long Walk to Freedom, but he has delved into diaries, journals, newspapers, speeches, and other sources to write a thorough, engaging, and exemplary history of one of the world's great leaders. Lodge details the early years of the South African statesman, showing how his upbringing instilled in him the civility, pride, compassion, and honor he revealed throughout his public life and during his imprisonment from 1962 to1990. As Lodge demonstrates, Mandela views his worldly, heroic status with ambivalence (he is most at ease with children present), and his love for former wife Winnie Mandela, from whom he separated in 1992, evidently endures to this day. Lodge's definitive study examines the genesis of Mandela's public and private character and credos as well as his mythic effect upon African and 20th-century history. The book, which includes maps, photos (not seen), a chronology, and an abbreviations list, has a literate style that makes it suitable for academic as well as all public libraries. Highly recommended.-James Thorsen, Madison Cty. Schs., Weaverville, NC Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher

"A fascinating, indeed riveting, and plausible as well as persuasive examination of why Nelson Mandela should have acquired a world following and can remain as he does an iconic figure even in the 21st century. It is certain to provoke much heated debate."--Desmond Tutu

"Unquestionably the most analytically incisive and discerning of the Nelson Mandela biographies."--Bill Nasson, University of Cape Town

"Illuminating.... An important contribution.... Vivid descriptions of the daily horrors of apartheid and the men and women around Mandela, such as his ex-wife Winnie and the troubled F.W. de Klerk, reveal the complicated world that Mandela ultimately and triumphantly managed to change."--Publishers Weekly

"Authoritative and fair-minded...deserves to be read widely."-- Adam Roberts, The Economist

"Mandela may raise a few eyebrows for its human portrayal and occasional gentle criticism of a man whom many regard as a secular saint.... Lodge reminds us that this moral giant is also human."--Washington Post

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780191578762
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, UK
  • Publication date: 7/27/2006
  • Series: A Critical Life
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 758,795
  • File size: 18 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Tom Lodge is Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at Limerick University in Ireland. He has worked in the United States as Director of the Africa Program at the Social Science Research Council. He is the author of five other books on South African politics, including an authoritative history of the post-Second World War history of black resistance.

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Table of Contents


Preface     vii
List of Plates     xiv
List of Abbreviations     xvi
Maps     xvii
Childhood and upbringing     1
Becoming a notable     19
Volunteer-in-chief     43
Making a messiah     81
Trials     103
Prisoner 466/64     116
Leading from prison     147
Messianic politics and the transition to democracy     167
Embodying the nation     204
Endnotes     227
Chronology     252
Further Reading     262
Index     265
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