Synopses & Reviews
Nelson Mandela is widely considered to be one of the most inspiring and iconic figures of our age. Now, after a lifetime of taking pen to paper to record thoughts and events, hardships and victories, he has bestowed his entire extant personal papers, which offer an unprecedented insight into his remarkable life.
A singular international publishing event, Conversations with Myself draws on Mandela’s personal archive of never-before-seen materials to offer unique access to the private world of an incomparable world leader. Journals kept on the run during the anti-apartheid struggle of the early 1960s; diaries and draft letters written in Robben Island and other South African prisons during his twenty-seven years of incarceration; notebooks from the postapartheid transition; private recorded conversations; speeches and correspondence written during his presidency—a historic collection of documents archived at the Nelson Mandela Foundation is brought together into a sweeping narrative of great immediacy and stunning power. An intimate journey from Mandela’s first stirrings of political consciousness to his galvanizing role on the world stage, Conversations with Myself illuminates a heroic life forged on the front lines of the struggle for freedom and justice.
While other books have recounted Mandela’s life from the vantage of the present, Conversations with Myself allows, for the first time, unhindered insight into the human side of the icon.
These] archives contain traces of my life and those who have lived it with me. Anyone who has explored the world of archives will know that it is a treasure house, one that is full of surprises, crossing paths, dead ends, painful reminders and unanswered questions. --Nelson R. Mandela
Nelson Mandela has written almost every day of his long life (he's now 91 years old): notebooks, jottings, drafts of letters to heads of state; and perhaps most movingly of all, letters from his long imprisonment on Robben Island, most of which, tragically, were never passed on to their recipients. Conversations with Myself is a very personal book--a book of private thoughts and lessons learned; but, as we have come to expect from the great man, the sense of hope and gentle wisdom that shines from these letters and diaries make this a book for everyone--a chance to share Mandela's recollections of a long life, fully lived.
“[Nelson Mandela] has done so much to change his country, and the world, that it is hard to imagine the history of the last several decades without him.” —from the foreword by President Barack Obama
Foreword by President Barack Obama
Nelson Mandela is one of the most inspiring and iconic figures of our age. Now, after a lifetime of recording thoughts and events, hardships and victories, he has opened his personal archive, which offers unprecedented insight into his remarkable autobiography.
From letters written in the darkest hours of his twenty-seven years of imprisonment to the draft of an unfinished sequel to Long Walk to Freedom, Conversations with Myself gives readers access to the private man behind the public figure. Here he is making notes and even doodling during meetings, or transcribing troubled dreams on the desk calendar in his prison cell on Robben Island; writing journals while on the run during the anti-apartheid struggle in the early 1960s, and conversing with friends in almost seventy hours of recorded conversations. Here he is neither icon nor saint.
An intimate journey from the first stirrings of political consciousness to his galvanizing role on the world stage, Conversations with Myself is a rare chance to spend time with Nelson Mandela the man, in his own voice: direct, clear, private.
About the Author
Nelson Mandela was a former President of South Africa, the first to be elected in fully representative democratic elections. He was born in Transkei, South Africa, in 1918. Before his presidency, Mandela was an anti-apartheid activist and leader of the African National Congress. In 1964, he was convicted of crimes including sabotage committed in the struggle against apartheid. He was imprisoned for 27 years at Robben Island prison and Pollsmoor prison. During his incarceration, his reputation as a potent symbol of resistance to apartheid grew steadily. Released from prison in 1990, Mandela received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 and was inaugurated as President of South Africa in 1994. He is the author of the internationally bestselling autobiography Long Walk to Freedom and Conversations with Myself. Mandela died in December 2013.