Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Long Walk to Freedom” as Want to Read:
Long Walk to Freedom
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Long Walk to Freedom

(Long Walk to Freedom #1-2)

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  57,017 ratings  ·  3,053 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
Paperback, 656 pages
Published October 1st 1995 by Back Bay Books (first published January 1st 1994)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Long Walk to Freedom, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Jessica If your child has a keen interest in reading political books, then yes? Kudos to any child reading 750 pages of politics and history!

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
Sort: Default
“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
Mar 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobook
As I continue the forty days of biography reading, I thought I ought to tackle some of the 'big players' in the world of politics. At a time when the world is still ill-balanced, I wanted to delve into the world of Nelson Mandela, one who sought to recalibrate a significant unbalance on the African continent over a number of decades. Having a great interest in South Africa, the backwardness of apartheid's acceptance by any governing body, and how the world handled the bloodshed under the racist ...more
Luís C.
A long way to freedom, courageously traveled by many men and women, to free themselves from the White oppressor, to regain human dignity, the pride of being Black. At first peaceful, they are forced to take up arms, to respond to the violence that faces them furiously. Neither the courts nor the prison can break this quest for equity, democracy and freedom.
Then it will be non-vengeance to take the path of negotiations, to annihilate hatred by words of peace.

A wonderful and moving testimony.
A tim
Donna Davis
If you are not a prolific reader, the size and weight of this volume 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--and then the journey, both outward and inward, from attorney to the leader of a revolution. You will read about his time on Riecher's I
“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
Raya راية
Sep 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"لقد جرّدت نفسي طول حياتي للنضال من أجل الشعب الأفريقي، لقد كافحت ضد هيمنة البيض كما كافحت ضد هيمنة السود. لقد عشت تواقًا إلى مجتمع ديمقراطي حرّ، يعيش فيه الجميع في وئام ومساواة. إنّه هدف أرجو أن أعيش له وأن أحققه. وهو الهدف الذي سأموت من أجله إن لم يكن من ذلك بدّ."

يأتون من بعيد ليحتلّوا أرض غيرهم ويسرقوا ثرواتها، ويجرّمون شعبها ويستعبدونه، ويعاملونه بقسوة ووحشية وعنصرية. ومن يقوم من تلك الشعوب بالمطالبة بأدنى حقوقهم، يزجّونهم في السجون! لكن لا بُدّ للقيد أن ينكسر ولا بُد لليل الظلام والظلم و
ahmed abdelazim
Oct 17, 2012 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
Jul 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: africa, biography
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
Sep 28, 2007 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
برای من لحظه مشخصی برای کشف حقیقت نبوده و هیچ چیز بخصوصی ناگهان الهام بخش من نشده، بلکه فقط مجموعه ای منظم از هزاران مورد بی حرمتی، هزاران مورد خرد شدن شخصیت و هزاران مورد لحظه از یاد رفته مرا به خشم می آورد، شورشی می کرد و این خواسته را در من تقویت می کرد که با سیستمی که مردم مرا اسیر خود کرده مبارزه کنم.
هیچ روز بخصوصی وجود نداشته که در آن روز گفته باشم از امروز به بعد زندگی خود را وقف آزادی مردم می کنم، بلکه فقط پی بردم که در حال مبارزه هستم و جز این نمی توانم کار دیگری انجام دهم...!
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
Feb 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017, africa
Long Walk to Freedom is the first book I've read by the leader of a country containing instructions on how to overthrow a country.

Mandela is serious about this. He mentions that when his African National Congress decided to commit to violence, they read "works by and about Che Guevara, Mao Tse-tung, Fidel Castro" to figure out how to do it. The phrase "A freedom fighter must..." recurs. He means this to be read by freedom fighters. This book is many things, but maybe the most important thing is
Jun 28, 2013 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)
Amanda Brinkmann
Jan 14, 2013 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
Jun 21, 2015 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
Henry Martin
Jul 29, 2013 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
Jan 27, 2013 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
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
Apr 26, 2012 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
Claudia Gualina
Nov 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing

Nelson Mandela è nato nel 1918, il suo vero nome africano significa attaccabrighe ed è stato una sorta di anticipazione di ciò che sarebbe stato; il nome Nelson gli è stato dato, come tradizione, quando ha iniziato a frequentare la scuola. Alla morte del padre va a vivere con il reggente xhosa Jongintaba, che diventa il suo tutore e lo tratta al pari del suo vero figlio Justice. A diciannove anni, a Healdtown, Nelson inizia ad abbozzare una coscienza af
Oct 31, 2007 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
May 21, 2007 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
Oct 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
“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.” ~ Nelson Mandela

It has been such an amazing journey. Thank you, Madiba!

Nelson Mandela is indeed one of the greatest moral leaders and heroes of our time! The way and walk to Freedom is long, but Mandela did not give up... He dedicated h
Apr 22, 2008 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
Megan Baxter
May 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
I've known far too little about Nelson Mandela. I knew who he was, of course, and some of the bare outlines of his life. But I think I'd fallen into knowing little more than what Cornel West, after Mandela's death, called the "Santa-Clausification" of the South African leader. By that, he meant the process of turning Mandela from who he was into a harmless, strangely apolitical grandfatherly figure that could be used as a symbol by left and right alike.

Note: The rest of this review has been wit
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
Mεδ Rεδħα
Dec 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophie, politics
While walking on "A long way to freedom", Nelson Mandela is definitely in history. "History is the meeting of a will and an event. Said Charles de Gaulle and this definition perfectly summarizes the path of the Nobel Peace Prize.

So many books, articles, exciting reports have been published about Nelson Mandela that I will not summarize his career but I will just give my feelings to listen to the audio version of his autobiography.
Feodor Atkine, with perfect diction, makes the text more intimate.
Mohamad Dahrouj
Jan 06, 2013 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 ٢٧ عاما فكان قاسيا بكل ما تعنيه الكلمة لكنه و ...more
It was indeed a long, long walk to freedom. Apartheid, established in 1948 in South Africa, was abolished in 1990. Nelson Mandela is one of the most well-known icons of the fight against this discriminatory system. This book explores his life, historical and political events during his lifetime, his thoughts and feelings as well as his contribution to the fight against apartheid and racism.

The book starts off with Mandela's childhood days, and sketches out his family connections and his prospec
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Summer Reading 1 3 Sep 11, 2018 05:33PM  
Baaday Viongozi (...: NELSON MANDELA 1 1 Jul 10, 2018 09:03AM  
Baaday Viongozi (...: NELSON MANDELA 1 1 Jul 10, 2018 09:02AM  
Baaday Viongozi (...: NELSON MANDELA 1 1 Jul 10, 2018 08:55AM  
  • I Write What I Like: Selected Writings
  • Country of My Skull: Guilt, Sorrow, and the Limits of Forgiveness in the New South Africa
  • My Traitor's Heart: A South African Exile Returns to Face His Country, His Tribe, and His Conscience
  • No Future Without Forgiveness
  • Biko
  • A Human Being Died That Night: A South African Woman Confronts the Legacy of Apartheid
  • A History of South Africa
  • The Fate of Africa: A History of Fifty Years of Independence
  • Rabble-Rouser for Peace: The Authorized Biography of Desmond Tutu
  • The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • It's Our Turn to Eat
  • Daughter Of Destiny: An Autobiography
  • The Bang Bang Club
  • Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Made a Nation
  • Africa: A Biography of the Continent
  • Mandela: The Authorised Biography
  • Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life
  • Kaffir Boy: An Autobiography
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
“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.” 1613 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.” 1525 likes
More quotes…