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Nelson Mandela: Portrait of an Extraordinary Man

4.04  ·  Rating Details ·  1,679 Ratings  ·  236 Reviews
Previously published as Mandela's Way

Written by the co-author of international bestseller Long Walk to Freedom, Nelson Mandela: Portrait of an Extraordinary Man presents fifteen powerful lessons on life and leadership based on the life and work of Nelson Mandela (1918 - 2013), whose fight against apartheid in South Africa has become an enduring example of resistance agains
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Paperback, 239 pages
Published April 28th 2012 by Crown Publishers (first published 2009)
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Luke Karavolis His full name is Nelson Mandela, but that was the name given to him by his white teachers.
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Community Reviews

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Raghu
May 25, 2010 Raghu rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I have great regard for Nelson Mandela and his enormous courage in prison, his lack of rancour towards his tormentors even after 27 years in prison, his great efforts towards reconciliation in South Africa and his pragmatism in embracing market economics even though he was a socialist when he went to the prison. But this book is a big disappointment and is a poor effort. It is just a rehash of some truisms which are inconsistent with the title of the book. It amazes me that accomplished people l ...more
Maria Carmo
Interesting and inspiring book whose main characteristic is the fact that the Author had access to Mandela along several years in all sorts of daily situations, so he could get to know the President from a more intimate point of view than is usually depicted. The Author tried to turn what he learned from Mandela into 15 lessons which he considers "Mandela Legacy". The book is well written, varied and hints at the immense human wisdom that Mandela imparted on those who were close enough to him. E ...more
Sara Sherzad
Feb 28, 2015 Sara Sherzad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Marvelous book, amazing personality yet HUMAN not a superman nor any other form of fiction!He is real....

This book talks maily about leadership, self and others leadership, a disciplined leader, focused, a full human being after many years of prison, inside prison and out,...yea he learned it in the hard way , or maybe we are learning in the hard way (those struggling with daily challenges and self boundaries, self prisoners!) Or maybe everyone has his own type of suffering and difficulties but
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Natalie Print
Feb 15, 2017 Natalie Print rated it liked it
An interesting, personal and readable portrait of Mandela and his outlook on life. Having the book organised into "15 life lessons" made it very accessible and freed the author to pick out particularly salient points from Mandela's life. (If you're looking for a traditional, chronological biography of Mandela, I would recommend looking for a different book).
Tommy
Sep 14, 2010 Tommy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An inspiring read. The book presents a much more complex man than we might imagine when we see his glowing countenance in photos and on newsreels. He has worked hard to become the person he is, and has used his life experiences to learn from each encounter and challenge. I walked away from the book feeling like Mandela is a pristine mix of the Dalai Lama and Malcolm X - he believes in progress through peaceful means, but he knows that for change to occur, at times one must be boldly assertive.

T
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Donniesands
Dec 10, 2014 Donniesands rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very interesting and simple read. My only regret is that it reads like a leadership book more than general lessons on life. But it gives a great image of the imperfect but fantastic leader.

It is divided into 15 lessons with examples from personal moments in Mandela's life.

I enjoyed it
Mereke
Apr 16, 2017 Mereke rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nelson Mandela is quite obviously an extraordinary role model and there is much to learn from his life. This book, however, read a bit like a dry college thesis and contained so many "lessons" that even one day after reading it, I'm already forgetting its content.
Fu Sheng Wong
Richard Stengel seems to suggest that being a hypocrite is being worse than a being a contradict - which is what Mandela seems to be in his eyes, for at least being a contradict is human, and being a hypocrite stoops you a level lower because you are perfectly aware of your contradictory actions. For the sake of simplicity I'll write down the 'lessons' that appealed most.

Time and time again we see this value, perhaps told in a different fashion and in a different light; courage. And in the book
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Jeremy C.
Nov 19, 2013 Jeremy C. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It seems like in general many people really like this book, or they like the content but not the writing. Personally I felt the writer did a fine job presenting his view of life lessons that we can learn from Mandela through interpretations of several scenes of Mandela’s life, and other narrations by Mandela himself. Apparently Richard Branson, Bill Clinton, and many others thought Stengel did a good job as well.

I appreciated learning more about Mandela and from the perspective of someone who sp
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NK
Mar 10, 2014 NK rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a great book. Seriously I just got swept up in this book. I was really impressed by this book, I guess more importantly I was enlightened by Mandela. I mean I knew bits & pieces of his life but reading about it in detail just made me admire him even more. The amount of struggles & hurdles he overcame is simply amazing. Not only that but how he approached everything w/ such a non-hateful demeanor. For someone who spent so much time in prison he still had this unbelievable compassion ...more
Maria Chiper
E prima carte de gen biografic pe care o citesc si am pareri controvesate in privinta acestui tip de literatura. E o bogata sursa de informatii istorice si poate fi utila, mai ales celor care nu prefera istoria ca materie, cum sunt si eu :) Dar poti afla date importante, evenimente marcante anume prin actiunile unor oameni, precum si faptele savarsite de Mandela.
Eroul cartii trezeste emotii opuse: admiratie, respingere, aprobare, intrebari despre anumite trasaturi si decizii, dar din lectiile de
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Shauna Edwards
Dec 24, 2012 Shauna Edwards rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this book, there are 15 lessons on life, love, and courage, Mandela’s way. Each chapter is a lesson in itself captivating the reader, through practical illustrations. As a prominent figure worldwide, many authors have written about his life. As his health deteriorates, however, he continues to be a very influential man in South Africa and is admired around the world.

Author Richard Stengel personally interviewed and observed Mandela for a period of time prior to writing this book. From his in
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Jacqueline Smith
Richard Stengel's Mandelas's Way is a love sonnet to Nelson Mandela, filled with praise and uncanny insight. It is written in a style that is light but highly expressive. Part of me wishes that Stengel was more distant to his subject so that a more "clearer" image of Mandela could be seen. It is a great book but I sense that it's author is so blinded by love that he can barely see fault with Nelson. I feel moved by the advice and wisdom peppered throughout the books pages, it inspires it's reade ...more
Jennifer Stringer
Aug 21, 2013 Jennifer Stringer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Closest thing to a living saint. I turned 44 earlier this month, and it is heartening to think that is the same age that Nelson Mandela went into prison, not to emerge until he was 71. I listened to is on my commute and I like the blending of philosophy and story-telling. Short audio, worth the time.
Nancy
An inspirational synthesis of Nelson Mandela's amazing approach to life.
Mia
May 05, 2015 Mia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I did not love it I did not hate it. It was interesting to read about Mandela's life and the lessons he wanted to share, though.
Jesse Serenade
It's difficult to rate or reflect on this book because the epiphanies I find here are very scattered and inconsistent. But still, as the author points out from Mandela's mannerism, inconsistency itself doesn't have to be a flaw when the majority of things falls into the gray zone.

One prime epiphany I have learnt from this book would be to keep an open mind, always. Keep an open mind when reading what this book has to offer before you judge it for being inconsistent. Keep an open mind when you d
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Cassidy Gan
Jun 04, 2017 Cassidy Gan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What an inspiring and powerful book outlining Mandela's way of life. This book is very insightful into how Mandela endure his hardships; what he had to sacrifice in order to gain freedom for his people in social justice and freedom. I am truly touched by this book and Mandela. If you are curious about what made Nelson Mandela into the great leader he was, this is the book to read.
Alberto Luis Fernandez
Admiration

I always admires Mandela. This book gave additional reasons to admire him. A true life example form me. A very balanced boom that shows not only his strenghts but also his weaknesses such as we all have.
Christina
Nice, light lessons on leadership and life. Quick insights into Mandela's history and personal stories.
Sophia Wang
Sep 29, 2016 Sophia Wang rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Treacherous Trajectory: Mandela’s battles against his morals



“Mandela knows he has been a hero, but even a hero stands on the shoulders of other.” Mandel’s Ways, by Richard Stengel, published by the Crown Publishing Group; is identified as The New York Times Bestseller and is reviewed by many keen readers with outstanding positive feedback. Unlike any other books, Mandela’s Ways is a simple yet breathtaking fiction novel, which unveils the lessons on life, love, and courage from the world-renow
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Donna Kronenberg
Quick and Enlightening

I knew of Mandela but didn't realize what made him strong. Mandela's Way allowed me to take a glimpse into what made him who he was. Remarkable!
Leonard
Dec 06, 2010 Leonard rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sabrina
Sep 07, 2016 Sabrina rated it liked it
Nelson Mandela: Portrait of an extraordinary man is an interesting read, however left me with some questions. Would this biography be different if the author was female? As the book is written very much from the author's perspective, it is hard to determine what is 'fact' or 'opinion'. The book was an easy read, however, it also jumped a bit as it was written in both a chronological order but also in particular topics. There were some quotes/sentences I really liked from this book:
"The praise w
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Sonia
Mar 05, 2017 Sonia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Each lesson contained examples from Mandela's life, and it was inspiring to read how he came to learn and exemplify those lessons. The book is an easy read, written well, and gives food for thought. I couldn't fully relate to some of the lessons, and I wonder if that's because of where I am in life. That does not detract from the book's ability to make me pause and reflect.
Nanda Wanninayaka
Mandela's Way: Lessons on Life, Love, and Courage is an inspiring book written by Richard Stengel with a forward by Nelson Mandela himself. This book explains 15 important life lessons of Mandela.

After Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela was the ideal leader, inspiration and the role model the world witnessed. One cannot expect such an exemplary figure to live into this century. He was an almost a saint towards the latter part of his life though he had a rebellious youth.
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Alice
Dec 05, 2013 Alice rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: life, thinker, bio
The topic of his life had come up during a discussion about work-life balance, actually, and it was with great curiosity that I picked up this book some years ago about this otherwise giant of a man. So it's from my dimming two-year-old memory that I write this review, but I can say that I still occasionally reflect on some of the takeaway anecdotes from this book.

Richard Stengel writes of Mandela's beginnings as young tribal royalty, learning the art of leadership, negotiation, and manhood thro
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Cassie
Mar 02, 2011 Cassie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
On a whim I picked up Mandela’s Way by Richard Stengel during my pre-vacation library spree. this vacation was about relaxing and finding serenity and a book on lessons from Nelson Mandela seemed like the perfect accompaniment.

Richard Stengel wrote Nelson Mandela’s autobiography with him and the book Mandela’s Way is a compilation of fifteen lessons he’s taken away from his many conversations with Mandela. At first, I was skeptical as to how much information Stengel could actually have to warran
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Marco Caetano
Mar 06, 2012 Marco Caetano rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sempre olhei para Nelson Mandela da mesma forma que olhava para o Papa João Paulo II. O seu rosto transmite paz, fraternidade e essencialmente muita energia positiva. Toda a gente sabe que passou uma boa parte da vida preso ou que lutou contra o apartheid pela igualdade e por uma rainbow nation, mas há muito mais para saber.

O legado de Mandela serviu de aperitivo para essa vontade de conhecer melhor a vida deste ícone. Richard Stengel foi o jornalista escolhido por Mandela para o ajudar a escrev
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Marcy
Jul 07, 2010 Marcy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Richard Stengel, in his book Mandela's Way, shows his own personal affection for the man, the hero, Nelson Mandela. "The African model of leadership is better expressed as ubuntu, the idea that people are empowered by other people, that we become our best selves through unselfish interaction with others." Nelson Mandela always sees the good in people, which endeared him to Richard Stengel. Before he entered prison for what he thought would be a lifetime, (it was 27 years), Nelson was more impuls ...more
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Richard Stengel is the former editor of TIME. He collaborated with Nelson Mandela on his bestselling 1993 autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, and later served as coproducer of the 1996 Oscar-nominated documentary Mandela. He is also the author of January Sun: One Day, Three Lives, a South African Town. Stengel is married to Mary Pfaff and they have two sons.
More about Richard Stengel...

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“By maturity, he meant that he learned to control those more youthful impulses, not that he was no longer stung or hurt or angry. It is not that you always know what to do or how to do it, it is that you are able to tamp down the emotions and anxieties that get in the way of seeing the world as it is. You can see through them, and that will see you through.” 1 likes
“And that is how he would describe courage: pretending to be brave. Fearlessness is stupidity. Courage is not letting the fear defeat you.” 1 likes
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