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The prison letters of Nelson Mandela
The prison letters of Nelson Mandela
Mandela, Nelson, 1918-20132018
Books
"An unforgettable portrait of one of the most inspiring historical figures of the twentieth century, published on the centenary of his birth. Arrested in 1962 as South Africa's apartheid regime intensified its brutal campaign against political opponents, forty-four-year-old lawyer and African National Congress activist Nelson Mandela had no idea that he would spend the next twenty-seven years in jail. During his 10,052 days of incarceration, the future leader of South Africa wrote a multitude of letters to unyielding prison authorities, fellow activists, government officials, and, most memorably, to his courageous wife, Winnie, and his five children. Now, 255 of these letters, many of which have never been published, provide exceptional insight into how Mandela maintained his inner spirits while living in almost complete isolation, and how he engaged with an outside world that became increasingly outraged by his plight. Organized chronologically and divided by the four venues in which he was held as a sentenced prisoner, The Prison Letters of Nelson Mandela begins in Pretoria Local Prison, where Mandela was held following his 1962 trial. In 1964, Mandela was taken to Robben Island Prison, where a stark existence was lightened only by visits and letters from family. After eighteen years, Mandela was transferred to Pollsmoor Prison, a large complex outside of Cape Town with beds and better food, but where he and four of his comrades were confined to a rooftop cell, apart from the rest of the prison population. Finally, Mandela was taken to Victor Verster Prison in 1988, where he was held until his release on February 11, 1990. With accompanying facsimiles of some of his actual letters, this landmark volume reveals how Mandela, a lawyer by training, advocated for prisoners' human rights. It reveals him to be a loving father, who wrote to his daughter, "I sometimes wish science could invent miracles and make my daughter get her missing birthday cards and have the pleasure of knowing that her Pa loves her," aware that photos and letters he sent had simply disappeared. More painful still are the letters written in 1969, when Mandela--forbidden from attending the funerals of his mother and his son Thembi--was reduced to consoling family members through correspondence. Yet, what emerges most powerfully is Mandela's unfaltering optimism: "Honour belongs to those who never forsake the truth even when things seem dark & grim, who try over and & over again, who are never discouraged by insults, humiliation & even defeat." Whether providing unwavering support to his also-imprisoned wife or outlining a human-rights philosophy that resonates today, The Prison Letters of Nelson Mandela reveals the heroism of a man who refused to compromise his moral values in the face of extraordinary punishment. Ultimately, these letters position Mandela as one of the most inspiring figures of the twentieth century"--
Main title:
The prison letters of Nelson Mandela / edited by Sahm Venter ; foreword by Zamaswazi Dlamini-Mandela.
Imprint:
New York : Liveright Publishing Corporation, a division of W.W. Norton & Company, 2018
Collation:
xv, 620 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color) ; 25 cm.
Notes:
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Contents:
Pretoria Local Prison, November 1962-May 1963 -- Robben Island Maximum Security Prison, May 1963-June 1963 -- Robben Island Maximum Security Prison, June 1964-March 1982 -- Pollsmoor Maximum Security Prison, March 1982-August 1988 -- Tygerberg Hospital & Constantiaberg MediClinic, August-December 1988 -- Victor Verster Prison, December 1988-February 1990.
ISBN:
9781631491177
Dewey class:
968.065 MAN968.065
Language:
English
LocationCollectionCall numberStatus/Desc
Brighton LibraryHistory968.065 MANOnloan - Due: 14 Nov 2019
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