Celebrating the Nelson Mandela International Day

Author: Sherry Helms

“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”

“After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.”

                                                                                                 — Nelson Mandela

Only a man with these kind of thoughts can oppress  a deplorable oppression. These are the thoughts that had been the strength of the great moral and political leader Nelson Mandela throughout his fight against racial oppression in South Africa, which won him the Nobel Peace Prize and the presidency of his country.

Mandela was raised in the traditional, tribal culture of his ancestors, but at an early age learned the modern, inevitable reality of what came to be called apartheid, one of the most powerful and effective systems of oppression ever conceived in human history.

Since his triumphant release in 1990 from 27-years of imprisonment, Mandela has been at the center of the most stirring political drama in the world. As president of the African National Congress and head of South Africa’s anti-apartheid movement, he was instrumental in moving the nation toward multiracial government and majority rule. This iconic figure is venerated worldwide as an imperative force in the fight for human rights and racial equality.

Today, on his birth day (July 18), Nelson Mandela has entered in the 94th year of his glorious life. The world is celebrating today the Nelson Mandela International Day as declared by the United Nations to be held every year in his honor. And, we are paying tribute to him and his achievements by writing this very post.

If you search for Nelson Mandela in the inventory of Printsasia.com or Printsasia.co.uk, you’ll be spoilt for choice as there are available so many books written on his life and work along with some volumes compiled by this legend itself. Therefore, to keep you from this impasse, we, with the help of our editorial team, have created a list of the most popular books on him  and by him. Check that out:

Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela – In this one of the most popular and inspiring autobiographies of all time, Nelson Mandela tells of his early years as an impoverished student and law clerk in Johannesburg, of his slow political awakening, and of his pivotal role in the rebirth of a stagnant ANC and the formation of its Youth League in the 1950s. Further, while describing his family and the unsuccessful yet painful married life, he talks on his struggle on political front, his underground leadership, his life imprisonment and the escalating political warfare in the fifties between the ANC and the government. He recounts the surprisingly eventful twenty-seven years in prison and the complex, delicate negotiations that led both to his freedom and to the beginning of the end of apartheid.

Conversations with Myself – After a lifetime of taking pen to paper to record thoughts and events, hardships and victories, Nelson Mandela has compiled in this book his entire extant personal papers, which offer an unprecedented insight into his remarkable life. 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 post-apartheid 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.

Mandela’s Way: Fifteen Lessons on Life, Love, and Courage – In this book, Richard Stengel recounts the moments in which “the grandfather of South Africa” was tested, and shares the wisdom he learned from him. Woven into these life lessons are remarkable stories of Mandela’s child­hood as the protégé of a tribal king, of his early days as a freedom fighter, of the twenty-seven-year imprison­ment that could not break him, and of his new and fulfilling marriage at the age of eighty.

This compact book is profoundly inspiring. It captures the spirit of this extraordinary man: warrior, martyr, husband, statesman and moral leader, and spurs us to look within ourselves, reconsider the things we take for granted, and contemplate the legacy we’ll leave behind.

Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Made a NationJohn Carlin, a former South Africa bureau chief for the London Independent, offers a singular portrait of Nelson Mandela, the greatest statesman of our time, in action while blending the volatile cocktail of race, sport, and politics to intoxicating effect. He draws on extensive interviews with Mandela, Desmond Tutu, and dozens of other South Africans caught up in Mandela’s momentous campaign, and the triumph of Springboks – the national rugby team. Carlin makes stirringly clear that Springboks’ championship in the sport’s World Cup in 1995 transcended the mere thrill of victory to erase ancient hatreds and make a nation whole.

Mandela: A Critical Life – In this new and highly revealing biography, Tom Lodge draws on a wide range of original sources to uncover a host of fresh insights about the shaping of Mandela’s personality and public persona, from his childhood days and early activism, through his twenty-seven years of imprisonment, to his presidency of the new South Africa. Throughout, Lodge emphasizes the crucial interplay between Mandela’s public career and his private world, revealing how Mandela drew moral and political strength from encounters in which everyday courtesy and even generosity softened conflict. Indeed, the lessons Mandela learned as a child about the importance of defeating ones opponents without dishonoring them were deeply engrained.

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