Andrew Backs's Reviews > Young Mandela: The Revolutionary Years

Young Mandela by David James Smith
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Jan 01, 11

bookshelves: currently-reading, non-fiction

Young Mandela is an exhaustive book about the details of the young life of South African leader Nelson Mandela. The book has been a little difficult to get through because of its plodding pace and extensive details. You can tell while reading that the author must have spent hours and hours doing research before producing a final product. There are references and cross-references for numerous details of Mandela's life. There is a good balance of political and personal information that really allows a reader to get to know the man behind bringing down apartheid in South Africa.

Though I do recommend this title, I do it with caution. I am not the fastest reader, so this book has been burdensome to read. The detailed information will definitely require anyone to be able to handle a lot of information pertaining to people, places, dates and apply them to the storyline of Mandela's life. The strongest element of this book is the honesty and bipartisanship of the author. While its true that a great majority of people would agree that he is a very inspirational world figure, Nelson Mandela is not without fault. Smith does a great job of reminding us of that and presents Mandela as any other man who has their faults. I find this type of research and honesty refreshing. It shows the commitment Smith has made to his subject and his strength as a story teller.

I would recommend this book to anyone who may be interested in the topic, but would warn recreational readers about diving into this one. The book is a strong example of extensive research but its weight many be too heavy for some readers to carry.
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12/09/2010 page 44
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