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Winnie Mandela: A Life

3.85  ·  Rating Details ·  92 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
Everyone has an opinion about Winnie Mandela, and usually a strong one. She has been adored, feared and hated more than any other woman in South African history. But few people know much about the life behind the headlines, myths and sound-bites. This biography is an in-depth and intimate look at Winnie Mandela’s personal and political life, and takes the reader on a remar ...more
Paperback, 287 pages
Published July 1st 2005 by Zebra Press (first published January 2003)
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Sean de la Rosa
Dec 04, 2014 Sean de la Rosa rated it really liked it
This was a great read. I got some good insights into this controversial character. Winnie didn't have it easy growing up. I also underestimated the amount of turmoil she faced being married to Madiba during the ANC struggle years. The biographer keeps a balanced view throughout. The section covering the Mandela United Football Club and the death of Stompie Sepei was a real eyeopener. The closing quote from Winnie summed it up pretty nicely: I am the product of the masses of my country, I am the ...more
Sep 09, 2009 Chidi added it
The story of Winnie Madikizela Mandela is chilling, traumatising, inspiring and quite scary. It is a story of laughter, humour, pain, suffering, tribulation; of vigour, tenacity and self determination.

She remains an icon in my life
Poushali Mitra
Jun 17, 2015 Poushali Mitra rated it really liked it
Interesting read!

This is an amazing read. Winnie as a person, political activist, social worker, community developer and mother gains considerable significance than what she is best known as - Mandela's wife. The ties to her father, learning disciplines from a strict catholic mother, arriving in Johannesburg to study social work, dating Mandela's cousin, by chance "romantic"meeting with Mandela and falling love and just a little over two years of married life with him in Soweto, then 27 years wi
Corey Holmes
Dec 21, 2011 Corey Holmes rated it really liked it
The Mother of South Africa.....but she was human....In my opinion she saved the ANC in the mid 80's...
Apr 26, 2008 Chris rated it liked it
An intensely interesting person who wants to learn more about A) Winne Mandela, B) Nelson Mandela (from outside his cult of personality--from an objective source for once), C) The struggles of black women during apartheid, D) a more ordinary account of the average political activists' experiences during apartheid--trust me, they weren't all sent to Robben Island. However, it's not terribly well written, and if you don't want to specifically learn about any of the things listed above, don't bothe ...more
Francois Pienaar
Dec 26, 2013 Francois Pienaar rated it really liked it
After finishing the long walk to freedom I wanted to find out what went on with Winnie in the 20odd yrs she was separate from her husband. The book did not disappoint. I recall the author took quite a while to explain her cultural background which wasn't the most gripping, but once the politics started, it was a roller coaster that you couldn't put down.
Sep 26, 2016 Yvonne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book. It was balanced without seeming to bias anyone side. Winnie underwent a lot of turmoil and she wasn't overtly acknowledged at the end of apartheid as I would have expected. Her final statement "I am the product of the masses of my country and the product of my enemy" sums up all that she is.
Great read.
Jun 06, 2014 Louise rated it liked it
Shelves: books-for-school
This was a book for school...
Karen Hoyte Braham
Good reading

Interesting revelations surrounding Winnie's early life and the latter part of the struggle. Repetitive in parts, almost mirroring Mandela's 'Long walk to freedom' but all in all, a good read.
Victoria Law
Jan 12, 2014 Victoria Law rated it it was ok
Definitely not a critical biography, but filled in a lot of gaps in my knowledge of Winnie Mandela.
Yvonne Chepkonga
Jun 24, 2014 Yvonne Chepkonga rated it it was amazing
No one can go through what Winnie went through and still remain humane. This book opened my eyes to why Winnie's character changed over the years.

A must read!!!!
Aug 20, 2012 Maria rated it liked it
An understanding of a truly misunderstood struggle figure. I now have a different view of uMama Winnie, thanks to this read my indifference towards her has disappeared.
David Highton
Dec 22, 2015 David Highton rated it it was ok
excellent book up until mid-1980's but then quite weak on the period of divorce and Mandela United
Dec 18, 2011 Nhlanhlo rated it it was amazing
South Africa my beautiful country with all it's scary scars. Great book!
Aug 27, 2011 Andrea rated it it was amazing
a must read. beautifully written.
Sep 20, 2013 Dejiariyo rated it really liked it
This book is a must read
May 11, 2008 Marsha rated it really liked it
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