Long Walk to Freedom
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Long Walk to Freedom

4.31 of 5 stars 4.31  ·  rating details  ·  26,622 ratings  ·  1,630 reviews
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 than a quarter-century of imprisonment, Mandela has been at the center of the most c...more
Hardcover, 544 pages
Published 1995 by Abacus (first published June 1st 1990)
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Rowena
“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...more
Warwick
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...more
Donna
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...more
ahmed abdelazim

(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
Hadrian
“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...more
NG
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...more
Cheryl
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...more
Missy
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
Kimberly
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...more
Caroline
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)...more
Amanda Brinkmann
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...more
Lona
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
...more
Tonya
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
Sarah
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
Laura
May 27, 2008 Laura rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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...more
Henry Martin
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...more
Julie
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...more
Mohamad Dahrouj
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 ٢٧ عاما فكان قاسيا بكل ما تعنيه الكلمة لكنه و...more
Sharon Watkins
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...more
booklady
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...more
Mikey B.
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...more
Amanda
Oct 07, 2011 Amanda rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: NO ONE!
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lewis Weinstein
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.
Rick
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 this...more
Motunrayo
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...more
 Lio  Proeliator
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...more
Thomas
I've just finished this magisterial autobiography. Now I wish I would have read it when it was published in the 1990s--and certainly before I visited South Africa to speak twelve years ago. The Boston Globe suggested that this book should be read by every person alive, and I certainly concur. In my own lifetime of reading, I cannot recall a more important book or a more humane, compassionate book that tells us more about servant leadership and the human spirit. I do have a couple of qualms. I wi...more
Dulini
I felt as if I’m listening to a grandfather who relates his personal stories. It was a long read but yet it worth all the time spent. He might not be a great writer yet his huge collection of life experiences make him a great story teller. He describes a horrific part of the human history in a way that gives reader goose bumps.
I believe it’s a book that should be read by every human being just to appreciate how gifted we are to enjoy freedom in many different ways. I was greatly moved by the fa...more
Hossam Sadik
ملهمة جداً .. مسيرة جنوب أفريقيا نحو الحرية.
في مثل هذا الوقت والظروف الحرجة التي تمر بها الثورة المصرية جاءت قرائتي لمسيرة نيلسون مانديلا وجنوب أفريقيا نحو التحرر من النظام العنصري بمثابة وقود فكري لحالة الجمود والخوف والقلق على مستقبل الثورة ومسارها التي أعيشها.

ألهمتني كثيراً مواقف حزب المؤتمر الوطني الأفريقي على الصعيد السياسي، فهم واجهوا نظام قمعي عنصري يتشابه كثيراً مع النظام السابق والحالي في العند والمكابرة وتعمد سياسية التفريق بين الأطياف المختلفة ليستمر في السيادة وإستخدام العنف في قمع ا...more
Peg
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
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SA reads: week two 58 15 Apr 29, 2014 12:30PM  
SA reads: week one 68 13 Apr 25, 2014 10:45AM  
Afro Book Club: Book Discussion: Long Walk To Freedom 30 58 Mar 15, 2014 05:54PM  
recommend book about Winnie Mandela? 1 14 Dec 23, 2013 06:35AM  
Bookworm Buddies: A Long Walk to Freedom 17 25 Dec 17, 2013 09:54AM  
Literary Adventure : Mandela 5 17 Dec 10, 2013 01:45PM  
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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
More about Nelson Mandela...
Conversations With Myself Nelson Mandela's Favorite African Folktales No Easy Walk to Freedom In His Own Words Mandela: An Illustrated Autobiography

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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.” 1184 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.” 890 likes
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