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Tutu: Authorized

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  73 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Commemorating Desmond Tutu's eightieth birthday, this stirring biography commemorates the life, philosophy, faith, and achievements of one of the greatest moral heroes of our time. Written by Allister Sparks, Tutu: Authorized featuring contributions from His Holiness the Dalai Lama, President Barack Obama, and Nelson Mandela, as well as interviews given by Reverend Mpho ...more
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published October 4th 2011 by HarperOne (first published October 1st 2011)
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May 17, 2013 added it
This is a powerful account about a gifted man who perhaps had the greatest influence over process from apartheid to "one man-one vote" representative government in South Africa. We lived in SA in 1985 and the papers did not report all the atrocities, nor did they relate Tutu's dramatic influence over his black and white brothers and sisters. So we are glad to have read this account; a tome, filled with testimonials/accounts of people all over the world, as well as giving an in-depth narrative of ...more
Dec 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Fascinating look into the man and his times.
Terry Burgess
Jul 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Interesting read about an extraordinary man.
Jul 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: herstory
If you adore the television series starring Martin Sheen titled "West Wing", and are old enough to remember the anti-apartheid protests of the mid to late 80s and the early 90s, chances are that you will find this book engaging.
Or, if you have a spiritual bent and find the topic of forgiveness fascinating, this book will be interesting as well.

The book is a political history of the period. The political intrigue that you get to learn about, from the Western powers who influenced the Afrikaaners
Dec 24, 2013 rated it liked it
Tutu's story is a necessary one to tell in our world's recent history. He is a powerful figure who was a driving force behind the destruction of apartheid, and remains a booming voice for change behind some of the world's most urgent current issues.

This book only does an adequate job of telling his story. From this work, one can learn much about the trajectory of Tutu's life and his values, but it does so at a surface level. This book lionizes Tutu without going into much depth about the
Fiona Leonard
Nov 05, 2012 rated it liked it
The authorized biography of Desmond Tutu is an interesting read. I've had this one on my to read list for quite a while, as I've been fascinated by Tutu's achievements and his ideology. While it partly lived up to my expectations, on the whole I found this a very frustrating read, due, I suspect, to competing agendas on the part of it's co-authors. On one hand, perhaps reflecting the influence of Mpho Tutu, Desmond Tutu's daughter, the book reads as a glowing tribute to Tutu. At the end of each ...more
Tim Hoiland
Dec 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
Its a good practice, I think, to read books about inspiring people who have lived remarkable lives. Its a way of learning to see the world through the eyes of those who have most profoundly shaped it. For my part, Ive made it a point to learn what I can from Nobel Peace Prize winners - folks like Martin Luther King, Jr., Wangari Maathai, Elie Wiesel, Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, Dag Hammarskjöld, and Mother Teresa.

Another remarkably inspiring Nobel laureate for me is Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who led
Apr 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
What a pleasure it was to read this delightful book! Really enjoyed spending time with one of my top personal heros, the Arch, Desmond Tutu. As one of the super-Laureates, along with the Dalai Lama, he is
truly one of the greatest living spiritual leaders of our times. I have followed him since I worked as an activist against the Apartheid in South Africa. That was back in the 80's when I was living in England. Anyway, this man is certainly one of the most beloved and admired people on earth. And
May 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I was fascinated by him during my coffee shop/enigmatic poetry/black turtleneck years and then again in young adulthood as he received the Nobel Peace Prize, when I traveled to Africa it was to the east not the south and so he only briefly figured on my mental screens and in my leisure reading. I picked this book up as a fan of Spark's reporting style knowing I would love the medium and method of portraying a modern myth. I picked this up for the teller and immediately fell in love with the ...more
John Mcpheat
Feb 15, 2012 rated it it was ok
I really struggled to get through this book. In fact it took me months. Which was disappointing, because I was really looking forward to reading it - Desmond Tutu is one of my greatest heroes. I think it was a combination of factors that formed my opinion. It wasn't a straight-out biography, but sometimes jumped from one place to another without a real flow. The text was interrupted by little pieces by people Tutu has known, worked with or influenced. And it was a good old fashioned hagiography. ...more
Mar 20, 2016 marked it as stopped-reading
I gave up on page 75. Tutu is an amazing man but this book is not amazing. Maybe it would have been better if I had full knowledge on the situation in South Africa at the time. I found myself looking up a lot of things the book would talk about or reference but didn't actually explain it in the book. It was also very dry, I think if I had read the whole thing I would have learned a lot but I couldn't force myself through any more.
Oct 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
A touching tribute!
May 10, 2012 is currently reading it
It is so inspiring to read about this great man's life. The story is a bit fragmented with anecdotes from different people in his life but I think that I will push on through and finish.
May 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
That's an interesting book
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Jan 30, 2012
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Nov 19, 2011
Mpho Tutu
Feb 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: wrote
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Allister Haddon Sparks was a South African writer, journalist and political commentator. He was the editor of The Rand Daily Mail when it broke Muldergate, the story of how the apartheid government secretly funded information projects.

Sparks later wrote a number of critically-acclaimed books on South Africa's transition from apartheid, including Tomorrow is Another Country (1996), The Mind of

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