101 Books to Read Before You Die discussion

Long Walk to Freedom
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Completed Reads > Long Walk to Freedom - Part 1-3

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message 1: by Alana (last edited Jun 01, 2017 08:09PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Alana (alanasbooks) | 1189 comments Mod
*Note* we had a tie in our poll but I didn't see it in enough time to make a run-off poll, so we will read this in June and "If Nobody Speaks...." in July. This books is over 600 pages and INSORT is only about 230 or so, so the page count actually works out pretty well.

For some unknown reason, my library does not have a copy of this book, so I haven't gotten a copy from ILL yet to know how to break it down into sections. I will just leave it as one open discussion, especially since this is recent history that many of you may already be familiar with (I, sadly, know only the vaguest details, nothing substantial).


Alana (alanasbooks) | 1189 comments Mod
Alright, I guess my library has a copy after all (took some looking, but located it) so I'm going to break it down into some smaller sections for discussion. This is the discussion for Parts 1-3.


Alana (alanasbooks) | 1189 comments Mod
I just started listening to this on audio and it's fascinating. I love using audio for books about other countries, especially one like this where the language base is so very different. It's punctuated with the characteristic clicks that we often so stereotypically apply to all African languages, however incorrectly. It's beautiful to listen to. I like having the paper copy as well to look at the map and see the spelling of these strange words. The cultural explanations alone are already making this very worthwhile! Good choice, everyone!


Alana (alanasbooks) | 1189 comments Mod
I think the thing I'm most enjoying so far (aside from the culture, history, etc, that are all so fascinating!) is his honest confessions of how he viewed various other groups and races back in the day, and pointing out where he erred, almost more than when he triumphed. His admissions of his errors speak volumes of him as a man, willing to recognize his faults, whether of youth and idealism or unwillingness to compromise for the greater good of all, and be willing to see new perspectives and to grow as a human being and learn from other wise persons around him It takes a strong person to admit that they were not always right, even if they believed themselves to be right at the time. If only more of us could recognize that in ourselves!


Irene | 1372 comments I am about 1/3rd into this book. I am surprised how much Mandella remembers. I can't believe he can recall details like which radio station he is listening to on a particular trip. I am enjoying the cultural insights. I am fascinated by the development of his perspective. But, I could have done with lots less mundain details. Maybe that is the limitation of an autobiography, the author is too close to the story to be able to determine what is important to a stranger to know and what is not.


Alana (alanasbooks) | 1189 comments Mod
I thought about that as well. I'm sure much of it is more a collection of thoughts and feelings from a particular time frame, even if not in strict chronological order. Although I think in the instance you're referring to, he specifies that the radio station was the only one he listened to? But regardless, I don't take ALL of it as straight fact, but not like he's lying, but more like some events might have blended together for him. However, he did begin writing this while in prison, surrounded by other men who had gone through a lot of the circumstances with him, so it's possible they jogged his memory on some things. But he also had a LOT of time in prison to think about and look back on things, so most of it probably really was his own memories. He did have an editor (not credited in the edition I had, but the audiobook had an interview with him at the end) and he probably helped iron out some of the details as well. Agreed, many of the sections got a bit too detailed for my taste, but I imagine they were much more so before the editor got ahold of the manuscript!


Irene | 1372 comments It is not so much that I am questioning the veracity of his detailed memory as it is a matter of feeling that there is too much unnecessary detail that is bogging down the account for me.


Alana (alanasbooks) | 1189 comments Mod
Oh, agreed, for sure. He's doing a full treatise on the Movement as well as his life, so it's detail-heavy for sure. There were definitely moments that were more tedious.


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