Memoirs

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Overview

Ahmed Kathrada's autobiography is a moving read about a man who not only observed, but also actively participated in the shaping of a country's history. Born a shopkeeper's son in a small rural town, he became the trusted confidante of some of the most prominent political figures in South Africa's struggle history, among them Nelson Mandela and Walter Sisulu. Politically active at the age of 10, Kathrada devoted his life to the freedom struggle in South Africa. Persecuted, driven underground and sentenced to life...
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Overview

Ahmed Kathrada's autobiography is a moving read about a man who not only observed, but also actively participated in the shaping of a country's history. Born a shopkeeper's son in a small rural town, he became the trusted confidante of some of the most prominent political figures in South Africa's struggle history, among them Nelson Mandela and Walter Sisulu. Politically active at the age of 10, Kathrada devoted his life to the freedom struggle in South Africa. Persecuted, driven underground and sentenced to life imprisonment at the Rivonia Trial, Kathrada spent 18 years on Robben Island, where he grew close to both Mandela and Sisulu, whom he regarded as a second father. On the island, in his tiny garden patch, Kathrada buried the original draft of Mandela's autobiography, until such time it could be smuggled to London.

In this book, truly a collection of memoirs, he affords us rare glimpses into his and other activists' lives during the struggle and imprisonment, and sketches poignant cameos of those who would become South Africa's post-apartheid leaders. This is a fascinating book about a modest man who experienced a momentous life.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781868729180
  • Publisher: Random House Struik
  • Publication date: 7/28/2005
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.04 (h) x 0.89 (d)

Meet the Author

South Africa's first democratically elected President, Nelson Mandela is known throughout the world as a dedicated statesman, an inspired leader and the image of hope for the anti-Apartheid movement. He was imprisoned on Robben Island for many years, and yet his devotion to freedom and justice allowed him to be the focus and heart of the ANC.
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 22, 2009

    memoirs of one of the leaders in overturning apartheid in South Africa

    From Ahmed Kathrada's lifelong involvement in the thick of South Africa political activism and his 26 years in prison in the notorious Robben Island and Pollsmoor prisons for political prisoners, he became the fellow activist with and confidant of Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, and other historic figures in the struggle against that country's apartheid. And with them, Kathrada played a leading, though for the most part less visible, role in developing a post-apartheid South African political and social system. Though apartheid was abandoned years ago, the full story of the struggle against it is just now beginning to emerge, as the leaders of this struggle are finding the time to write their memoirs in their later years after moving out of the political arena and giving way to the succeeding generation of leaders. Kathrada sees his own 'Memoirs' as a 'modest addition to the growing and most welcome body of work that is emerging about a particularly significant period in South Africa's recent history.' Kathrada's modesty kept him from moving into the political, governing, arena as visibly as others, notably Nelson Mandela. But it's clear from this modestly-written 'Memoirs' that Kathrada was a major figure in bringing apartheid to an end and setting South Africa on a new course.

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