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Long Walk to Freedom

4.29  ·  Rating Details  ·  42,033 Ratings  ·  2,128 Reviews
The book that inspired the major new motion picture Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.
Nelson Mandela is one of the great moral and political leaders of our time: an international hero whose lifelong dedication to the fight against racial oppression in South Africa won him the Nobel Peace Prize and the presidency of his country. Since his triumphant release in 1990 from more th
Paperback, 656 pages
Published October 1st 1995 by Back Bay Books (first published January 1st 1994)
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Messias Definitely the best political book. I loved it.
Suzanne I wouldn't say so. There is a long passage about Nelson's circumsision. It gave me the heebie jeebies.
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11th out of 1,126 books — 1,156 voters
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Biography and Memoirs that are BETTER than Fiction
40th out of 1,348 books — 1,906 voters

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“As I finally walked through those gates to enter a car on the other side, I felt- even at the age of seventy-one- that my life was beginning anew. My ten thousand days of imprisonment were over.” - Nelson Mandela, A Long Walk to Freedom

2013, my year of reading biographies, started off with Dr. King’s and ended with reading Nelson Mandela’s. A perfect end to the year.

Apartheid is something that hit very close to home to me, being a member of the same Bantu people that the racist Afrikaner gover
At over 700 pages, Nelson Mandela's autobiography might look like a serious commitment. Actually though, it doesn't feel like a heavy book at all. Like the thinking which informs it, the writing is clear, measured and straightforward, albeit scattered with bits of Harvard English that are presumably down to Mandela's (uncredited) American ghostwriter, Richard Stengel.

I sped through it in under a week, thanks mainly to a couple of long train journeys. I'm left with a much more nuanced view of Man
Donna Davis
If you are not a prolific reader, the size and weight of this volume (aside from e-readers, LOL) may look daunting. After reading the first two or three chapters, you will be tempted to give up. DON'T!!! It's just about to get really good.

This autobiography chronicles Mandela's life, first as the son of a tribal chief, then as an educated Black man under apartheid (a dangerous thing to be), then the journey, both outward and inward, from attorney to the leader of a revolution. You will read abou
ahmed abdelazim
Dec 05, 2013 ahmed abdelazim rated it it was amazing

(إنني في قرارة نفسي إنسان متفائل, وإن كنت لا أدري إن كان ذلك في طبيعتي أم في طبعي, ومن علامات التفاؤل أن يحافظ المرء على رأسه مرفوعا نحو السماء, وأن تكون خطاه متجهة إلى الأمام, لقد مرت بي لحظات عديدة اهتزت خلالها ثقتي بالإنسانية, ولكنني لم ولن أستسلم لليأس فذلك هو السبيل إلى الإخفاق والموت المحقق).
اعتقد ان قناعات هذا الرجل و ايمانه بفكرته كان مصدر قوته الحقيقى و لا يسعنى الا ان اقول كم انت عظيم يا مانديلا و قد صار كتابك هذا صديقى للابد
“I had no epiphany, no singular revelation, no moment of truth, but a steady accumulation of a thousand slights, a thousand indignities and a thousand unremembered moments produced in me an anger, a rebelliousness, a desire to fight the system that imprisoned my people. There was no particular day on which I said, Henceforth I will devote myself to the liberation of my people; instead, I simply found myself doing so, and could not do otherwise.”

Nelson Mandela turned 95 last week. Twenty years pr
من أحلى كتب السير الذاتية التي قرأتها، وأكثرها صلة بنضالنا في العالم العربي من أجل الحرية والديمقراطية. تبدأ مع طفولة المتناضل الأفريقي الأشهر نيلسون مانديلا، وتنتهي بتوليه الرئاسة في بلده، لكن نهاية الكتاب هي في الحقيقية بداية، فهي وعد باستكمال طريق النضال الطويل نحو الحرية..

لن أتحدث طويلا عن الكتاب، لكني سأنقل بعض العبارات والمقاطع منه التي أراها الاهم، أو الأشد صلة بواقعنا العربي، أو -وهو الأغلب- المقاطع التي تحمل افكارا استغربت أن تصدر عن مناضل مثله، وعلى سبيل المثال خلافه مع بعض من قادة "ال
Where does one start with this? The story of freedom fighter, head of state, and world leader, Nelson Mandela--a book that spans his childhood, years spent in prison, and subsequent election as president. I grew up constantly reminded that a man, this man, was seated somewhere in South Africa in a prison cell, fighting for freedom for an entire nation and group of people.

The former president started this manuscript while in prison (sometime around 1974) and concocted a plan to have the original
Dec 22, 2007 Missy rated it it was ok
First of all let me say that Nelson Mandela is an amazing man who has been through more trials than I could ever imagine, and he faced them with such class and strength. I am glad I know more about his history and his life as a "freedom fighter," and this book gave me greater appreciation for black South Africans. However, it was a long, long, long, long walk to freedom. I guess I like books that are written in story form, which shows some lack of intelligence on my part, unfortunately. It took ...more
May 20, 2015 Caroline rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Caroline by: Donna
What to say about one of the world’s most highly esteemed books? I am wholly inadequate to give a review of the book as such, but here, as usual, are a few notes to remind myself of the reading...

(view spoiler)
Nov 09, 2015 Joey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: autobiographies
I learned Nelson Mandela’s life from my high school history because of the word, apartheid. (Thanks to Mahatma Gandhi; he introduced him to us on his cause of Caste System in India.) However, I just scratched the surface of him t as my teacher did not tell much details about him as if he was not attached much importance to the subject. ( If I were my teacher, I would have told much more about him.) In fact, I mistook him for a Black-American. Uh-oh! I was still an ignoramus at that time despite ...more
Amanda Brinkmann
Jan 14, 2013 Amanda Brinkmann rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics-reads
I tried reading this book SO many times right after it was published - but found myself so upset and saddened, that I realised I was simply not emotionally ready to deal with the contents. So - it sat on my shelf for nearly 10 years, before I felt ready and healed enough to pick the book up again.

It was, for me, a riveting read. I sobbed my way through a great many of the sections, I learned so much about the history of my country and the genesis of the African National Congress and its original
I bought this book in January and didn't get around to reading it until March. I was at a Goodwill 50% off sale the day I got this and as soon as I saw it I knew I had to have it.
As someone who has strong roots in South Africa but has never been there I am always eager to learn more about the country my father and his family were born in particularly because my father and his family left South Africa in the 40's to escape the apartheid even though they were "coloured" and not "black" it still im
Mar 10, 2013 Lona rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
تستهويني جداً كتب السيرة الذاتية .. .. وعندما تكون هذه السيرة لشخصية نضالية كنيلسون مانديلا فأعلم أنك ستخوض تجربة فكرية غزيرة و استثنائية لرجل تحوَّل وتطور من كونه ولداً أسوداً يعيش في كوخ في قرية نائية إلى أن أصبح أول رئيس أسود لجنوب أفريقيا منهياً بذلك حقبة التمييز العنصري هناك

تنبيه:- الريفيو تخليص لما جاء في الكتاب ولذلك فهو ليس موَّجه لمحبي المراجعات القصيرة

قام ملك التيمبو بتنصيب "غادلا هنري مفاكانيسوا" زعيماً على قبيلة مفيتزو وتسمى عشائر هذه القبيلة بالكوسا، وزعيم هذه القبيلة تزوج من أربعة
Henry Martin
Jul 29, 2013 Henry Martin rated it it was amazing
It is not very often that I set to read non-fiction. This book, however, was originally recommended to me by a Rwanda refugee and so I made an exception. What a good decision that was.
Although I was familiar with Mandela's life and South Africa's struggle against the apartheid regime, this book provided me with much more profound understanding of the struggle and the historical events leading to the eventual overthrow of the racist regime. This book, however, is much more than an account of a da
May 21, 2007 Tonya rated it it was amazing
What do I really have to say? :-) I read this before the first time I went to South Africa and fell in love with the country...hence two return trips! I had some amazing experiences during the pr days and one was a private tour of Robben Island with Ahmed Kathrada while in SA. He was imprisoned with and a close friend of Mandela's (one of eight sentenced to life imprisonment during the Rivonia Trial). Anyway, obviously it was amazing since he knew EVERYTHING about the time and place (he was ther ...more
May 27, 2008 Laura rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: travelers, organizers, aspiring world changers
Recommended to Laura by: a guy on my flight home from j'burg
I learned (as if I didn't already know) that I am one slack m*^&rf&*ker, and this is the perfect book to read if you need some motivation to get off your ass and/or get over yourself.

There are also a lot of fascinating things about his story that i didn't know -he grew up literally barefoot in the bush, bailed on being a tribal councilor and ran away from home, and a lot of interesting ins and outs of how african consciousness developed in SA the 60s and 70s, plus tips on how to keep yo
Nov 01, 2007 Sarah rated it really liked it
It was an interesting read. Sorry, that's a bit of an understatement and the dry tone in my head doesn't really translate. Mandela is a good, clear writer, but not creative or inventive. One can see the methodical planning that made him such an effective political leader and innovator, but as the author of a 625 page book, his style is a little stiff. The first half of the book is about his upbringing and path into politics. The problem I was having was that there was no way to tell from his for ...more
Recently, I was teaching a class where the students read an essay about the reconciliation meetings that were done in South Africa.
And my students did not know, or claimed not know, who Mandela was.
Sad, but true.
As time goes on, we forgot. We are a nation that has been, and in many ways still is, affected by 9-11, but the average college freshman who is currently 18 was 5 then. There are people whose understanding of apartheid, if they have one, is one of distance and this happened last gener
Jan 27, 2013 Julie rated it it was amazing
If we do nothing else for those who suffer for a cause, we must at least bear witness and say, I have seen, and understood.

Many people the world over have waxed prolific and poetic on this book, and all that is left to say is, it is a must-read for anyone who cares about anything at all in this world. This struggle cannot be dismissed as a partisan "engagement". It is not just about apartheid; it is not about fighting a harsh regime; it is not about man's inhumanity to man -- and all that "stuf
Mohamad Dahrouj
Feb 09, 2013 Mohamad Dahrouj rated it it was amazing
هي قصة نضال تصلح مثلا لكل شعوب الارض المظلومة التي تبحث وسط ظلام القهر عن الحرية . قصة تروي مسيرة نضال طويلة من الكوخ الى قصر الرءاسة ومن الجهل المفروض على السود في وطنهم الى المحاماة عرف خلالها مانديلا النضال بكل أشكاله السلمي والمسلحين والعصيان المدني والمظاهرات ودخول السجن للفت الأنظار الى قضيته . كان صاحب فكرة النضال المسلح وكان اول من تدرب على استعمال السلاح في اثيوبيا . لكن اعتقاله المبكر اثر بشكل كبير على مخططاته النضالية. اما السجن الذي استمر عاما فكان قاسيا بكل ما تعنيه الكلمة لكنه ورف ...more
Sharon Watkins
Jul 10, 2013 Sharon Watkins rated it it was amazing
If you ask my daughter why she chose to move to Africa, she will tell you that it must have been her long childhood exposure to Paul Simon's "Graceland." But I think the truth actually lies in her exposure to the extraordinary life story of Nelson Mandela. Nelson Mandela is a world treasure: principled, dedicated, uncompromising, and consistently both human and humane.

This autobiography recounts Mandela's life from early childhood in a Transkei village, through the political awakening of his you
Lewis Weinstein
Jul 31, 2013 Lewis Weinstein rated it it was amazing
I finished reading this book as our plane settled on the tarmac in Capetown. Later we visited Mandela's cell on Robbin Island. It was a very emotional connection to a great man.
And the end of the book, Nelson Mandela says that his Long Walk to Freedom has really just begun. I’d always wanted to read his autobiography—being a huge fan of this admirable man—and the audio version read by Danny Glover was excellent. It even included the famous speech given by Mr. Mandela upon his release from prison in 1990.

Long Walk to Freedom is bare-bones and often heartbreaking for its matter-of-fact recounting of events which must have been anything but. Yet he leaves it to us to fill
Mikey B.
Jun 02, 2014 Mikey B. rated it it was amazing
Page 623 (my edition)

In South Africa, a man of color who attempted to live as a human being was punished and islolated.

An exquisitely written book with many brilliant observations on life passages. It is not just about Nelson Mandela’s struggle to obtain freedom for his people in South Africa – it is a view of the dignity of a human being.

Nelson Mandela has a unique ability to gaze out at events outside of himself – some said that of Abraham Lincoln. Nelson Mandela is man of intense humanity and
Sep 05, 2011 Lio rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
يمكنني أن أقول - آي أم نوت إمبريسد - بالطبع أذهلني إصراره ودأبه لكن كثير من مواقفه السياسية وقرارته لم تكن "مريحة" بالنسبة لي، موقفه من البي سي آي وعداءه المستمر لهم وتركيزه على أنهم مجرد شباب أرعن وخلافه ينفي بالضرورة دورهم في عدّة انتفاضات أيقظت الحياة الثوريية كانت فيه تراجع ورجعية المؤتمر خصوصاً مواقف مانديللا واضحة جداً.
قرارات مانديللا الفردية بعيداً عن الهيئة العليا ومفاجأة زملائبه بها في نظري لم تكن مثمرة فعلاً بل وإنها كانت محض انطفاء لثورية هذا المناضل - العظيم بالطبع -
موقفه من العصابا
R.D. Raven
Jun 28, 2013 R.D. Raven rated it it was amazing
7 Stars

At the end of this book I'm left with a number of emotions: humility, awe, wonder.

I've thought long and hard about how to review this book and already the word count is much higher than I'd wanted it to be. It is one of those books that, as a member of humanity itself, you are simply obliged to read.

It should be required reading for everyone, everywhere.

I will read it again many times in my life. Of this I am sure. I feel honored to have "shared" in his life vicariously by means of thi
Oct 07, 2011 Amanda rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: NO ONE!
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I don't even know how to begin writing a review of Long Walk to Freedom. It might be enough to say that this autobiography does justice to its subject, Nelson Mandela, who was probably one of the greatest leaders of my lifetime or anyone else's. His burial service was this past Saturday, and I stayed up until 6 o'clock in the morning watching it online (because of the time difference between my home and South Africa), the whole time with his words swimming in my head because I've been so immerse ...more
Jan 08, 2014 Motunrayo rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013
I had just finished reading Nelson Madndela's "Long Walk to Freedom" and was reminiscing about his life when I heard about his death.
If only I had a piece of his ravenous zealousness and determination to pursue a certain cause that does not only include my benefits, but is for the good of all.
Though his personal life might have suffered under the struggle he fought for the multitude, alongside his many other companions who we ought not to forget, his selflessness is an attribute that very few me
Duaa Ahmed
أنهكتني يا مانديلا !!

إنها سيرة مناضل .. وسيرة رجل أحب أسرته وصارع بين شعوره بالتقصير نحوها وبقضية الحرية التي ولد بها ..

لا يسعني قول الكثير .. لم أكن أعرف مانديلا قبلا كما عرفته الان بعد قراءة سطوري

كنت أحسب نفسي عارفة بمعرفة أن مانديلا رجل سلام وقام بتحرير "دولة ما" فقط

الان أعرف من أنت يا مانديلا .. أي حياة عشتها .. وأي مناضل كنت .. وأي أسرة منحت لك ..

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The 2016 Reading ...: Nonfiction Group Read (Autobiography/Memoir: March 2015) - Long Walk To Freedom, by Nelson Mandela 9 30 Aug 30, 2015 10:15AM  
SA reads: week two 54 16 Apr 29, 2014 12:30PM  
SA reads: week one 64 13 Apr 25, 2014 10:45AM  
Afro Book Club: Book Discussion: Long Walk To Freedom 30 70 Mar 15, 2014 05:54PM  
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Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was a former President of South Africa, the first to be elected in a fully representative democratic election, who held office from 1994–99.

Before his presidency, Mandela was an anti-apartheid activist, and the leader of the African National Congress's armed wing Umkhonto we Sizwe. The South African courts convicted him on charges of sabotage, as well as other crimes com
More about Nelson Mandela...

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“I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one's head pointed toward the sun, one's feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.” 1433 likes
“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” 1220 likes
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