Synopses & Reviews
He was a child of royalty, born and raised to defend tradition. But his African name—Rolihlahla, meaning "tree shaker"—hinted at a very different future. Nelson Mandela would spend most of his life shaking his country to its roots. For challenging the cruel system of apartheid, Mandela would be condemned as South Africa's most notorious outlaw and spend more than twenty-seven years in prison. He would emerge to lead a peaceful revolution, becoming the father of a new South Africa and one of the world's most inspiring heroes. The new updated edition of New York Times veteran Bill Keller's moving biography looks back on Mandela's life, offering a clear-eyed view of his legacy and bringing his remarkable story to a new generation of readers.
"Keller, executive editor of the New York Times, offers a balanced, thoughtful account of Mandela's political activism and accomplishments and his pivotal role in South Africa's modern history. The book's title is a translation of Mandela's birth name, Rohihlahla, which, both fittingly and ironically, refers to a troublemaker. As bureau chief for the Times in Johannesburg from 1992 to 1995 (he won a Pulitzer Prize for his work there), Keller witnessed Mandela's campaign for president and South Africa's transition from apartheid to granting full citizenship and voting rights to black and white South Africans alike. Keller's personal experience and contact with Mandela imbues his often graceful prose with immediacy and offers insight into the leader's personality ('In my time watching him at work, I often marveled at his ability to wear down hostility through endless patience, gentle humor, and charm'). Reprints of 15 pertinent Times articles, four written by Keller, give additional dimension to the biography, although the graphically intense design packed with dramatic photos, swathes of paint,handprints and images of the African continent may be somewhat cluttered (color art not seen by PW). A solid portrait of an awe-inspiring man. Ages 10-14." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"With its strking layout, bright graphics and photographs on almost every page, Keller's biography of Mandela vibrates with the feeling of history come alive." —The New York Times Book Review
"On-the-spot reporting of the end of apartheid, of Manela's release from prison, and the excitement of the country's first democratic elections make this more than the usual biography." —Booklist
"Keller's personal experience . . . with Mandela imbues his often graceful prose with immediacy and offers insight." —Publishers Weekly
"Keller's vivid writing brings to life his subject and the complex history of South Africa." —The Horn Book Guide
"Keller draws on his years of experience as the Johannesburg bureau chief for the New York Times [and] paints a portrait of a man of courage and leadership who, when faced with difficult choices, did whatever was necessary to achieve his goal. Well-chosen black-and-white and full-color photographs enhance the text. A good first purchase for biography and current-events collections." —School Library Journal
"With its striking layout, bright graphics and photographs on almost every page, Keller's biography of Mandela vibrates with the feeling of history come alive."—The New York Times"Keller's vivid writing brings to life his subject and the complex history of South Africa."—The Horn Book Guide"On-the-spot reporting of the end of apartheid, of Mandela's release from prison, and the excitement of the countrys first democratic elections makes this more than the usual biography." —Booklist
This fascinating biography looks at the life of Nelson Mandela, placing his awe-inspiring accomplishments in historical context for a new generation to admire. On a February day in 1994, Mandela visited Robben Island, a desolate rock where he had been held during his twenty-seven years as a prisoner. Days later, he triumphed in an election that rescued South Africa from the climate of oppression that had held sway for so long. By New York Times executive editor, Bill Keller, Tree Shaker looks at the events that led Mandela from his tribal homeland to the center of the struggle for racial equality in South Africa. From early acts of protest to the leadership of an apartheid-free nation, this is an honest portrayal of the astonishing life of a modern political and social icon.
About the Author
Bill Keller has worked at The New York Times for more than twenty years, serving as executive editor, domestic correspondent, foreign correspondent, foreign editor, managing editor, and currently as an op-ed columnist. He won a Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the Soviet Union in 1989 and was chief of the Johannesburg bureau from 1992 to 1995, witnessing firsthand the remarkable events that led to the first free election in South Africa. He lives in New York. Combining the experience of New York Times journalists with extensive photograph and article archives, New York Times books bring politics, science, history, and contemporary issues to a new generation of readers.