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African
biography

Knowing Mandela: A Personal Portrait

 
 
Author
John Carlin.
Publisher Harper Perennial  
Format paperback
Product Dimensions 8 x 5.25 x 0.35 inches
ISBN 9780062323934
Pages/Publication Date 144/2013
Daedalus Item Code 53527
This item is not available.
Description
As a foreign correspondent for London's Independent, based in South Africa, John Carlin had unique access to Nelson Mandela during the post-apartheid years when Mandela faced his most daunting obstacles and achieved his greatest triumphs. Carlin witnessed history as Mandela was released from prison after 27 years and ultimately ascended to the presidency of his strife-torn country. Carlin has crafted an account of a man who was neither saint nor superman, but who was exactly the right man to bring South Africa together at this crucial moment, even at the cost of much personal unhappiness and disappointment.

"Carlin was the first foreign correspondent to interview Mandela as president.... Carlin covered Mandela's release from 27 years of imprisonment in 1990 and spent the next five years chronicling Mandela's presidency. The two men last met in 2009 as Mandela's health was failing. In this memoir, Carlin offers more than a news account of the presidency of an extraordinary world figure. He details the personal and political struggles of a man charged with holding together a fragile nation at the end of apartheid and coping with the heartbreak of his troubled marriage. Behind the scenes, Mandela was as gracious as he appeared in public, taking tea in the president's chamber in contrast to the petty rules of apartheid, when he would have been restricted to drinking from a tin cup. Mandela set the right tone, coping with fearful whites, angry blacks, and a political party worried that he'd been co-opted after so many years in prison. Carlin portrays a 71-year-old man of stunning charisma, disarming journalists, detractors, former jailers, parliamentary opponents, and world figures from Bill Clinton to Queen Elizabeth. Written with obvious affection and admiration, this is a moving portrait of a philosophical and visionary man who was also pragmatic enough to know that anger and revenge would destroy South Africa."—Booklist

 
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