Mandela: The Authorised Biography

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9780007437979: Mandela: The Authorised Biography

Widely considered to be the most important biography of Nelson Mandela, Antony Sampson’s remarkable book has been updated with an afterword by acclaimed South African journalist, John Battersby.

Long after his presidency of South Africa, Nelson Mandela remained an inspirational figure to millions – both in his homeland and far beyond. He has been, without doubt, one of the most important figures in global history. His death, on 5 December 2013 at the age of 95, resonated around the world.

Mandela’s opposition to apartheid and his 27 year incarceration at the hands of South Africa’s all-white regime are familiar to most. In this utterly compelling book, eminent biographer Anthony Sampson draws on a fifty year-long relationship to reveal the man who rocked a continent – and changed its future.

With unprecedented access to the former South African president – the letters he wrote in prison, his unpublished jail autobiography, extensive conversations, and interviews with hundreds of colleagues, friends, and family – Sampson depicts the realities of Mandela’s private and public life, and the tragic tension between them. Updated after Sampson’s death with a new afterword by distinguished South African journalist John Battersby, this is the ultimate biography of one of the twentieth century’s greatest statesmen.

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Review:

In 1975, imprisoned for life on Robben Island, Nelson Mandela covertly wrote his autobiography. After painstaking months the text was smuggled out--and was promptly quashed by the African National Congress. In his later Long Walk to Freedom Mandela politely expresses "surprise" at this. Sampson reveals that Joe Slovo suppressed the book for not giving enough prominence to Communists. This revelation is remarkable--the ANC could have made much mileage from the book at a time of low fortune--yet Sampson does not follow up. There is too often a sense of eggshells lightly walked upon.

Mandela improves as the prisoner's release approaches. Sampson sharply exposes the machinations of those undermining the ANC's struggle. The CIA knew of the Third Force years before the ANC, yet said nothing. Right-wing governments attacked "Mandela the Communist", preferring to promote Inkhata's Buthelezi, at that time secretly and violently colluding with de Klerk's apartheid regime. Against the small-minded figures of Reagan, Thatcher and Kohl it is Mandela who emerges here a giant. South Africa won her freedom through Mandela: his strength of character and willingness to forgive helped push a country into an alternative future, avoiding the racial civil war almost all predicted. Yet he and his kin paid an awful price. Sampson draws a painful, clear picture of a disintegrating family: dislocation from children; the terrible effects of the war on Winnie, and her increasingly erratic, later murderous behaviour; Mandela's own aching loneliness. It is in capturing Madiba, the ultimate public figure, at his most intense and private, that Sampson's Mandela succeeds best. --Chris Woods

Review:

‘A magisterial, detailed and invaluable account of one of this century’s greatest figures … it is hard to believe that a better biography will ever be written.’ Justin Cartwright, Sunday Telegraph

‘Warmly to be welcomed, not least because it is more substantial and revealing than Mandela’s bestselling autobiography…a great leap forward in our understanding of a man who is both enigmatic and private…Anthony Sampson has carried out his difficult commission with skill and sensitivity’ Independent

‘This will be the last word on Mandela for years to come…it will be hard to improve upon this crowning conclusion to Sampson’s long career as a loving and expert chronicler of South Africa’ Evening Standard

‘Measured, detailed without a moment of tedium, incisive in its perceptions and at times, profoundly moving’ Observer

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Book Description HarperPress. Book Condition: New. Widely considered to be the most important biography of Nelson Mandela, Antony Sampson's remarkable book has been updated with an afterword by acclaimed South African journalist, John Battersby. Num Pages: 704 pages, 24 b/w plates (24pp), (3 x 8pp B&W), With index. BIC Classification: 1HFMS; BGH; HBJH; HBLW3; JPHL. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 196 x 184 x 47. Weight in Grams: 552. 2011. Paperback. . . . . Bookseller Inventory # 9780007437979

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Book Description HarperPress, 2011. Book Condition: New. Widely considered to be the most important biography of Nelson Mandela, Antony Sampson's remarkable book has been updated with an afterword by acclaimed South African journalist, John Battersby. Num Pages: 704 pages, 24 b/w plates (24pp), (3 x 8pp B&W), With index. BIC Classification: 1HFMS; BGH; HBJH; HBLW3; JPHL. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 196 x 184 x 47. Weight in Grams: 552. . 2011. Paperback. . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # KCD0013252

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2012. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 196 x 128 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Widely considered to be the most important biography of Nelson Mandela, Antony Sampson s remarkable book has been updated with an afterword by acclaimed South African journalist, John Battersby. Long after his presidency of South Africa, Nelson Mandela remained an inspirational figure to millions - both in his homeland and far beyond. He has been, without doubt, one of the most important figures in global history. His death, on 5 December 2013 at the age of 95, resonated around the world. Mandela s opposition to apartheid and his 27 year incarceration at the hands of South Africa s all-white regime are familiar to most. In this utterly compelling book, eminent biographer Anthony Sampson draws on a fifty year-long relationship to reveal the man who rocked a continent - and changed its future. With unprecedented access to the former South African president - the letters he wrote in prison, his unpublished jail autobiography, extensive conversations, and interviews with hundreds of colleagues, friends, and family - Sampson depicts the realities of Mandela s private and public life, and the tragic tension between them. Updated after Sampson s death with a new afterword by distinguished South African journalist John Battersby, this is the ultimate biography of one of the twentieth century s greatest statesmen. Bookseller Inventory # ARG9780007437979

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2012. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 196 x 128 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Widely considered to be the most important biography of Nelson Mandela, Antony Sampson s remarkable book has been updated with an afterword by acclaimed South African journalist, John Battersby. Long after his presidency of South Africa, Nelson Mandela remained an inspirational figure to millions - both in his homeland and far beyond. He has been, without doubt, one of the most important figures in global history. His death, on 5 December 2013 at the age of 95, resonated around the world. Mandela s opposition to apartheid and his 27 year incarceration at the hands of South Africa s all-white regime are familiar to most. In this utterly compelling book, eminent biographer Anthony Sampson draws on a fifty year-long relationship to reveal the man who rocked a continent - and changed its future. With unprecedented access to the former South African president - the letters he wrote in prison, his unpublished jail autobiography, extensive conversations, and interviews with hundreds of colleagues, friends, and family - Sampson depicts the realities of Mandela s private and public life, and the tragic tension between them. Updated after Sampson s death with a new afterword by distinguished South African journalist John Battersby, this is the ultimate biography of one of the twentieth century s greatest statesmen. Bookseller Inventory # POW9780007437979

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