Young Mandela: The Revolutionary Years

Synopses & Reviews Review: "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)
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