Conversations with Myself
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Conversations with Myself

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  1,071 ratings  ·  140 reviews
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 singular international publishing event, Conversations with...more
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Published October 11th 2010 by Macmillan Audio (first published 2010)
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K.D. Absolutely
I read memoirs in between fiction works because in memoirs, there is a bigger chance that the events really happened. I perceive memoirs as nearer to truth and so lessons are more rational and factual.

I picked up this book because I felt that I did not know anything about Nelson Mandela except that he was a very popular prisoner and he became the President of South Africa. He fought against apartheid in South Africa and that was the reason why he got imprisoned for more than a quarter of one's l...more
Rohan Kallicharan
We all dream of fame at some time in our lives, yet the phrase that always returns to my mind is 'Walk A Mile In His Shoes.'

How many would truly take the challenge of walking a mile in the shoes of Nelson Mandela?

A man vilified and branded a terrorist by the propaganda of a regime.
A man who lived every minute in fear of his life.
A man incarcerated in indescribable conditions for over a quarter of a century.
A man, whom after his release, was the target of those who he sought to unite.
A man of d...more
Ken Moten
As this was my first autobiographical read of Nelson Mandela I was very impressed at this sort of behind the scenes, diarist style look into the world of a freedom fighter especially one of the greatest freedom fighters that ever lived. I know there are more conventional autobiographies and biographies of him but this one really brought a personal touch of the man to me.

[12/05/2013 update: this was one of my first books I properly reviewed for Goodreads. Nelson Mandela was a man whose life shoul...more
Doug
It's a hard book to read without first knowing about the life of Nelson Mandela. Fifty pages into the book, I had to stop and read Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela before I could continue, and even then it is still hard to follow. Some of Nelson Mandela's letters are so brilliant and inspiring, they make me want to hang them up in my room; the problem is that it is interspersed with other thoughts and inanities that it loses its effect. Also, in Long Walk to Freedom, I w...more
Nura
In 'Nelson Mandela’s Conversations with Myself' I was surprised by the way it was written. This book was really interesting. It contains a collection of letters, speeches, interviews and notes written by Mandela himself. It has no chapters. The book contains four parts each that represent different stages of Mandela’s life. My personal favorite was part two: Drama. I believe this book showed a great deal of Mandela's life and into some of his innermost thoughts. It didn’t cover every detail of h...more
Mohammad Alrasheed
عندما ذهبتُ إلى المكتبة كانت النية كتاب "رحلتي الطويلة من أجل الحرية"، مع معرفتي بنُدرته وقلة وجوده. لكني وجدت هذا الكتاب. كانت سعادتي كبيرة حين رؤيته (لاهتمامي الشخصي بكتب السيَر والمذكرات) وسعادتي أكبر أثناء قراءته، وأكبر بعد الانتهاء منه. كتاب جميل جداً ورائع، يكشف لك عن قرب شخصية هذا الرجل المُلهم والصبور. يحتوي الكتاب على عدد من اللقاءات التي أجراها مانديلا مع صديقه المقرب والصحفي أحمد كاثرادا، والصحفي الأمريكي ريتشارد ستينغل، كما يحتوي على عدد من مسوّدات كتابه الشهير "مشوار طويل نحو الحرية...more
Stephanie Hill Alexander
I was excited when my book club chose this as a 2011 book read. However, it was worse than having a tooth pulled without pain killers when you're afraid of the dentist. I spent a month trying to read the book and couldn't finish a letter per day; my focus was all over the place trying to keep up with all the names. I couldn't get into the many letters that didn't really follow a logical order or that gave me a summary before the actual letter. I could have read the summary and been ok. His life...more
Saza
"In real life we deal, not with Gods, but with ordinary humans like ourselves; men and women who are full of contradictions, who are stable and fickle, strong and weak, famous and infamous".

The man himself makes history. Great leader I would recommend this book to everyone Really inspiring book.
Claudia Gualina
IO, NELSON MANDELA– Nelson Mandela

“È la storia di un uomo disposto a rischiare la vita per ciò in cui credeva e che ha lavorato incessantemente per condurre quel genere di esistenza che avrebbe reso il mondo un posto migliore.” (B. Obama)

Questa è un frase molto significativa della prefazione, fatta da Obama al libro di Mandela, che racchiude in sé l’emblema della vita del leader sudafricano. Qualche anno fa, ho letto la sua autobiografia: ho seguito attentamente le vicissitudini della sua travag...more
Fatoumata Diop
In real life we deal, not with Gods, but with ordinary humans like ourselves; men and women who are full of contradictions, who are stable and fickle, strong and weak, famous and infamous." NELSON MANDELA. In this book Nelson Mandela lets us see his private life, tells us his story.

This book is about a very powerful and inpring man and leader called Nelson Mandela. Helets us read through his private life, from finish to end. Even though he had someups and downs, he never gave up because Nelson...more
Paul
It's a bit disjointed, as it's a collection of quotes, recollections and narrative. However, this adds to the sense of knowing something about this man. I found myself remembering words and discussions by Mandela over the next few days. His discussion whether to invite the guards who had tortured fellow prisoners to a barbecue stuck in my memory.
A very good book that I will definitely read again.
Bookaholic
Nelson Mandela este un model al sacrificiului pentru o cauză, iar lupta sa antiapertheid din Africa de Sud, în numele căreia a primit o condamnare de 27 de ani de închisoare, executată în insula Roben, a fost fructificată în cele din urmă, fiind ales primul preşedinte ajuns la conducere pe cale democratică, în 1994. Conversaţii cu mine însumi creionează portretul lui Mandela din surse diferite, din interviuri, scrisori trimise în timpul închisorii, din discursuri etc. Este o carte care ni-l prez...more
Jordana Winchesterdream
I'm a South African so anything to do with my Hero is going to get 5 stars. This is yet another book that shows his amazing intelligence, humility and absolute dedication to making the world around him a better more understanding place. Incredibly insighful into his private thoughts and ideas it adds another layer to the legend.
Alison
Had this by my bed for months and would read little excerpts, bit by bit. It's impossible not to admire Nelson Mandela. I don't know that this was a consistently successful book format (a collection of correspondence, interviews, essays) but I am glad to have read it and learned more about his extraordinary, inspiring life.
Sue

This is a factual book filled with letters that Nelson mandella wrote while in prision and conversations that he had with significant others. It gives a real insight into his thoughts ,values and moral that lead the way in which he contiues to live out his life. a facisating read, about an amazing man .
Denise Billings
We all knew Nelson Mandela had been locked up for years, but I didn't know the extent of the persecution of the prisoners. Rules made up along the way just to punish them. The buckets they used as toilets. Ignoring his requests to attend the funeral of his mother and later his 24 year old son. Total isolation from the rest of the world, especially his children. Often Winnie was also jailed and the children lived as orphans.

I'd heard about the correspondence being censored on my visit to Robben I...more
Brian
This was a phenomenal book, and I suspect a good deal more compelling than Long Walk to Freedom (have not read that one). This is mainly because it is more of a collection of thoughts the man has had over his extraordinary life rather than a fact sheet or a list of events displayed flatly and chronologically. Specifically, it is a collection of notes he wrote while imprisoned and also of interviews (mainly with Richard Stengel). Of course, this means it's a good deal more disjoint, but it is als...more
Ice
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Marisa Martins
Colecção de cartas escritas à família e aos amigos, entradas num diário, anotações feitas em calendários e blocos de nota e extractos de conversas gravadas com o biógrafo e com amigos que levam o leitor a conhecer Nelson Mandela numa perpectiva mais intimista.

"Depois de se ter estado na prisão são as pequenas coisas que valorizamos - a sensação de poder dar um passeio sempre que nos apetece, atravessar uma rua, entrar numa loja e comprar o jornal, falar ou preferir ficar em silêncio - o simples...more
Ian Walcott-Skinner
This is not the easiest book to read as its format is non-linear. However, if you have the patience to get through it and piece the puzzle together, it gives great insight into the real Nelson Mandela. (I do recommend taking a glimpse at the supplementary information at the back before delving into the main text unless you are very familiar with South Africa's history and geography. This will assist in putting everything into a better perspective.) For me, Mandela is an African King who has been...more
james
favorite quotes:

-internal factors may be even more crucial in assessing one's development as a human being. honesty, sincerity, simplicity, humility, pure generosity, absence of vanity, readiness to serve others - qualities which are within easy reach of every soul - are the foundations of one's spiritual life. never forget that a saint is a sinner who keeps on trying.

-from president obama: 'mandela made it clear that we did not have to accept the world as it is - that we could do our part to se...more
Elly
Mandela is natuurlijk een bevlogen, ingetogen, inspirerende persoonljkheid die sowieso heel veel te vertellen heeft. Dit boek geeft een inkijkje in zijn privé gedachten en zijn privéleven.
Dat maakt het bijzonder.
Wat het een beetje saai, taai maakt om te lezen is de vorm waarin het gegoten is. Het is een bijelkaar geraapt geheel van stukjes uit zijn dagboek, brieven, aantekeningen uit agenda's etc. Er is geen coherent geheel van gemaakt. Het schiet ook heen en weer qua data. En dat is voor het...more
Bunmi
I made a promise to myself about 20 years ago, to always finish a book once I had gone past the first 5 pages. And for the first time in 20 years, I was very, very tempted to break this 'rule' and abandon this book, several times in the last few days.

It was very, very difficult to read.

A collection of haphazard, seemingly random, erractic notes, clips from interviews, speeches, letters, it is very difficult to get anything out of this book. Yes, from time to time, you get a slight idea about t...more
Beth Kurylo
I began reading this several days after Mandela's funeral so I could get a better understanding of the man and what he believed. This is not a narrative, but rather bits and pieces from letters, unpublished manuscripts and calendar entries, plus conversations he had with people involved in writing his biography. In most cases, they are fact-checking or looking for more details about specific events, including his wife, Winnie's, horrific statements in support of "necklacing". I look forward to r...more
Marieru
No es una autobiografía ni es un diario personal, es una recopilación de notas, conversaciones con su biógrafo, anotaciones personales, entre otro tipo de documentos. Todas estas cosas nos acercan de una manera distinta al mito, nos presenta al hombre sencillo que es Nelson Mandela.
Es un poco pesado de leer y a veces los saltos en el tiempo me alteraban un poco. El capítulo 11 es especialmente lento pero nos presenta un retrato de la cotidaneidad en prisión.
El periodo que escribe desde la cárc...more
Ben Trump
After finishing this book, I feel like I didn't really learn much about Mandela the person. The organization was also a little spotty, and the publishers made it seem like a longer read than it really is by putting images of Mandela's letters after each section (which you don't really have much of a need to read, seeing as you've just read it).

2/5 for interesting source material direct from Mandela, but marks off for assuming your reader already knows quite a bit about who Mandela really was.
Christel Oomen
Really inspiring book. It reads easy because of the way it is composed, mixing interviews and letters. It reveals much of both his personal worries and the history of the anti-apartheid struggle without getting into the nitty gritty facts like names and years that make so many non-fiction book so tiresome to read.

What I personally found interesting was comparing this struggle of the MK, an organization that was for using violence when necessary to further the cause, with other such organization...more
Paul
Started reading this almost almost three years ago. My mum got it for me as a Christmas gift, knowing that I was a big admirer of Nelson Mandela. I've chipped away at it as one might with a book of poetry, a couple of pages here and there. Coincidentally, I began making a concerted effort to finish it a few weeks before his death. It's hard to review something that is basically a collection of personal writings, especially of such a great figure, so I'm not going to give it any stars. I do find...more
Amanda
Now, understand that Nelson Mandela gets 1,000,000,000 stars. But this book's editor gets 2 stars. Maybe just 1 1/2 stars. This is probably the worst compilation of Mandela's written work. It's super confusing to read, unless you happen to have his autobiography handy to reference. I didn't understand the point of some of the pieces that were included and the bits and pieces format made it really hard to read.

That being said, there are some letters in here that are particularly moving, thought-p...more
Felonious
Mandela, South Africa, Apartheid, Prisoner to President. All of that and I was still disappointed with this book. It was informative and gave insight to Mandela and the struggle of South Africa. With that said,the There was something about the way the book was put together, it sort of read like an unsuccessful cross between just the facts and hears a moment worth remembering. For some reason it all just fell flat and I had to force myself to finish it.

Personally I think Mandela was a great man...more
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Great as a second part 1 4 May 21, 2012 03:55AM  
  • A Human Being Died That Night: A South African Woman Confronts the Legacy of Apartheid
  • Biko
  • No Future Without Forgiveness
  • Mandela's Way: Lessons on Life, Love, and Courage
  • Mandela: The Authorised Biography
  • Dinner With Mugabe: The Untold Story Of A Freedom Fighter Who Became A Tyrant
  • I Write What I Like: Selected Writings
  • Nelson Mandela: A Biography
  • Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Made a Nation
  • Country of My Skull: Guilt, Sorrow, and the Limits of Forgiveness in the New South Africa
  • Tsotsi
  • Africa: Altered States, Ordinary Miracles
  • The Last Resort: A Memoir of Zimbabwe
  • Young Mandela: The Revolutionary Years
  • Decolonising the Mind: The Politics of Language in African Literature
  • Africa: A Biography of the Continent
  • Down Second Avenue: Growing Up in a South African Ghetto
  • A History of South Africa
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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...
Long Walk to Freedom Nelson Mandela's Favorite African Folktales No Easy Walk to Freedom In His Own Words Long Walk To Freedom (Volume 1: 1918-1962)

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“There is a universal respect and even admiration for those who are humble and simple by nature, and who have absolute confidence in all human beings irrespective of their social status.” 59 likes
“i love playing and chatting with children...feeding and putting them to bed with a little story, and being away from the family has troubled me throughout my...life. i like relaxing at the house, reading quietly, taking in the sweet smell that comes from the pots, sitting around a table with the family and taking out my wife and children. when you can no longer enjoy these simple pleasures something valuable is taken away from your life and you feel it in your daily work.” 39 likes
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