Foreword by President Barack ObamaNelson Mandela is one of the most inspiring and iconic figures of our age. Now, after a lifetime of recording thoughts and events, hardships and victories, he has opened his personal archive, which offers unprecedented insight into his remarkable life.
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 cell on Robben Island; writing journals while on the run during the antiapartheid 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.
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‘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…’
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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 born in Transkei, South Africa, on July 18, 1918. He joined the African National Congress in 1944 and was engaged in resistance against the ruling National Party’s apartheid policies after 1948. From 1964 to 1982, he was incarcerated at Robben Island prison and then later moved to Pollsmoor prison, during which time 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 the first democratically elected president of South Africa in 1994. He is the author of the international bestseller Long Walk to Freedom.