Synopses & Reviews
"Longtime journalist Smith (One Morning in Sarajevo) digs into newly discovered government documents and firsthand interviews (though none with the supportive but ailing Nelson Mandela himself) in humanizing the iconic leader. Smith ventures deep into the horror of apartheid to trace the burgeoning revolutionary's philosophical trajectories: from the tribal chauvinism and British 'gentleman politics' of the African National Congress through the younger, more insistent elements coalescing around mentor Walter Sisulu to Mandela and the ANC's own more militant turn under the influence of South Africa's Indians led by Gandhi, the role of South African Communists, and the pan-Africanism of Marcus Garvey and Kwame Nkrumah. What sets this biography apart is its author's emphasis on Mandela's character and associations in the development of his political career, from boyhood through the Rivonia Trial of 1963 1964; as well as the impact of politics on his personal life, from first wife Evelyn Mase--heretofore neglected in the historical record--to the 'woman of his dreams,' Winnie Madikizela. No hagiography, Smith's measured study qualifies, lends nuance to, and even contradicts the mythology around Mandela's background and formative influences. Photos. (Dec.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
Nelson Mandela is well-known throughout the world as a heroic leader who symbolizes freedom and moral authority. He is fixed in the public mind as the world's elder statesman--the gray-haired man with a kindly smile who spent 27 years in prison before becoming the first black president in South Africa.
But Nelson Mandela was not always elderly or benign. And, in YOUNG MANDELA, award-winning journalist and author David James Smith takes us deep into the heart of racist South Africa to paint a portrait of the Mandela that many have forgotten: the committed revolutionary who left his family behind to live on the run, adopting false names and disguises and organizing the first strikes to overthrow the apartheid state. YOUNG MANDELA lifts the curtain on an icon's first steps to greatness.
Smith presents a revelatory portrait of Mandela's early years as an anti-Apartheid revolutionary who left his family behind to live on the run as he organized the first strikes to change his country and the world.
About the Author
David James Smith was born in south London in 1956 and has been a journalist all of his work life. He wrote for the monthly magazine Esquire before joining the Sunday Times Magazine. He is the author of The Sleep of Reason, All About Jill, and Supper with the Crippens. He lives in Lewes, East Sussex.