Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson MandelaNelson 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 compelling and inspiring political drama in the world. As president of the African National Congress and head of South Africas anti-apartheid movement, he was instrumental in moving the nation toward multiracial government and majority rule. He is revered everywhere as a vital force in the fight for human rights and racial equality.
The foster son of a Thembu chief, Mandela was raised in the traditional, tribal culture of his ancestors, but at an early age learned the modern, inescapable reality of what came to be called apartheid, one of the most powerful and effective systems of oppression ever conceived. In classically elegant and engrossing prose, he tells of his early years as an impoverished student and law clerk in a Jewish firm in Johannesburg, of his slow political awakening, and of his pivotal role in the rebirth of a stagnant ANC and the formation of its Youth League in the 1950s.
He describes the struggle to reconcile his political activity with his devotion to his family, the anguished breakup of his first marriage, and the painful separations from his children. He brings vividly to life the escalating political warfare in the fifties between the ANC and the government, culminating in his dramatic escapades as an underground leader and the notorious Rivonia Trial of 1964, at which he was sentenced to life imprisonment. Herecounts the surprisingly eventful twenty-seven years in prison and the complex, delicate negotiations that led both to his freedom and to the beginning of the end of apartheid. Finally he provides the ultimate inside account.
Long Walk To Freedom Summary
He was the first South African President to be elected in a fully representative democratic election. In life, every man has twin obligations: obligations to his family, to his parents, to his wife and children; and he has an obligation to his people, his community and his country. In a civil and humane society, each man is able to fulfill those obligations according to his own inclinations and abilities. But in a country like South Africa, it was almost impossible for a man of my birth and colour to fulfill both of those obligations. In South Africa, a man of colour who attempted to live as a human being was punished and isolated.
The following version of this book was used to create the guide: Mandela, Nelson Rolihlahla. Long Walk to Freedom. Little, Brown, and Company, The memoir divided into nine parts. He describes his attempts to gain an education, mostly at missionary schools. In Part Two: Johannesburg, Mandela describes his time as a young man in Johannesburg, where he pursues law studies. There, Mandela begins to get involved in the ANC.
Quotations are for the most part taken from that work, as are paraphrases of its commentary.
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Long Walk to Freedom Summary & Study Guide Description
Under the apartheid government, Mandela was regarded as a terrorist and jailed on the infamous Robben Island for his role as a leader of the then-outlawed ANC. He later achieved international recognition for his leadership as president in rebuilding the country's once segregated society. Mandela dedicated his book to "my six children, Madiba and Makaziwe my first daughter who are now deceased, and to Makgatho, Makaziwe, Zenani and Zindzi, whose support and love I treasure; to my twenty-one grandchildren and three great-grandchildren who give me great pleasure; and to all my comrades, friends and fellow South Africans whom I serve and whose courage, determination and patriotism remain my source of inspiration. In the first part of the autobiography, Mandela describes his upbringing as a child and adolescent in South Africa, and being connected to the royal Thembu dynasty. His childhood name was Rolihlahla, which is loosely translated as "pulling the branch of a tree", or a euphemism for "troublemaker". Mandela describes his education at a Thembu college called Clarkebury, and later at the strict Healdtown school, where students were rigorously put in routines. He mentions his education at the University of Fort Hare , and his practice of law later on.
Read in: 4 minutes Favorite quote from the author:. I have a lot of heroes. Writers, creatives, entrepreneurs, actors, academics, you name a field, I can tell you a person I admire in it. People who chose themselves. Earlier this year, Viktor Frankl was one such example. In his struggle against apartheid the racial segregation of blacks and whites in South Africa , he spent 26 years in prison, from to