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Hunger for Freedom: The Story of Food in the Life of Nelson Mandela

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As much a rigorous historical exploration as a culinary reference, this book offers a delicately compiled biography of Nelson Mandela through the recipes that have been the backdrop, and occasionally the primary cause, for momentous personal and political events. From the corn grinding stone of his boyhood and prison hunger strikes to presidential banquets, tales told in sandwiches, sugar, and samoosas speak eloquently of Nelson Mandela's intellectual awakenings, emotional longings, and constant struggle for racial equality.

232 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 2008

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Anna Trapido

3 books

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Profile Image for Kim.
593 reviews19 followers
December 22, 2009
This book has changed who I am

The book is a social/political/personal history of Mandela with the commen thread of food running through out it. It goes from his time as a herdboy in the Eastern Cape, eating scrounged mushrooms and mielies to his retirement from retirement when he had allowed himslef to relax enough to eat spare ribs.

Through the examination of what he was allowed to eat, what he preferred to eat and what he was given to eat, the awfulness of the apartheid era, as well as the amazing transformation this country underwent, is made real and personal.

While reading this book, I cried and laughed, was overwhelmed and saddened, felt fear and hope, couldn't put it down and had to put it down to digest it.

Every single South African should read this book. I thought I knew this lands history but realised I had little idea of what we have come from; what happened and what was done.

Seeing Mandela's life through the very human lens of eating shows that he was just that - a human, a man, a father, husband and friend. His suffering was the suffering of a man - not that of the deity he has been transformed into.

This book made it all so very real to me. I can't remain unchanged by it all.

Read this book - everyone should!
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