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.
‘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…’
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“A truly unprecedented moment in publishing…Stunning…Nothing short of a monumental historical document.”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; Foreword by President Barack Obama