From letters written in the darkest hours of his twenty-seven years of imprisonment to the draft of an unfinished sequel to Long Walk to Freedom, Conversations with Myself gives readers access to the private man behind the public figure. Here he is making notes and even doodling during meetings, or transcribing troubled dreams on the desk calendar in his prison cell on Robben Island; writing journals while on the run during the anti-apartheid struggle in the early 1960s, and conversing with friends in almost seventy hours of recorded conversations. Here he is neither icon nor saint.
An intimate journey from the first stirrings of political consciousness to his galvanizing role on the world stage, Conversations with Myself is a rare chance to spend time with Nelson Mandela the man, in his own voice: direct, clear, private.
Sign up to receive information about new books, author events, and special offers.
‘I shall stick to our vow: never, never under any circumstances, to say anything unbecoming of the other…The trouble, of course, is that most successful men are prone to some form of vanity. There comes a stage in their lives when they consider it permissible to be egotistic and to brag to the public at large about their unique achievements. What a sweet euphemism for self-praise the English language has evolved! Autobiography…’
Read the full excerpt
Listen to this audiobook excerpt from Nelson Mandela's book Conversations with Myself, narrated by John Kani. 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 literary album…Intensely moving, raw, and unmediated…Provides the fullest picture yet of Nelson Mandela…A necessary book.” —Peter Godwin, The Observer (London)
“There are fascinating glimpses of the inner man, and flashes of his celebrated humor….Conversations presents a Mandela more people may feel they can emulate.” —Chicago Tribune
“This book will reduce the reader to both rapture and tears....Deeply moving.” —Financial Times (London)
“A truly unprecedented moment in publishing…Stunning…Nothing short of a monumental historical document.” —The Daily Beast
Nelson Mandela was 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 and Conversations with Myself. Mandela died in December 2013.