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The Prison Letters of Nelson Mandela

by Nelson Mandela and Sahm Venter

Hardback Publication Date: 18/07/2018

RRP  $57.95 $40.95
The Prison Letters of Nelson Mandela is a landmark work: the first, and only, authorised and authenticated collection of correspondence spanning the twenty-seven years Mandela was held as a political prisoner

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, Mandela wrote hundreds 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, a majority of which were previously unseen, provide the most intimate portrait of Mandela since Long Walk to Freedom. Whether writing about the death of his son Thembi after a request to attend the funeral was ignored, 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 human punishment. Ultimately, they position Mandela, along with Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., among the most inspiring historical figures of the twentieth century.

African history
Publication Date:
W. W.\Norton#& Company, Incorporated
Country of origin:
United States
Dimensions (mm):

Nelson Mandela

NELSON ROLIHLAHLA MANDELA was born into the Madiba clan in the Transkei, South Africa, on 18 July 1918. He moved to Johannesburg in 1941 where he entered the African National Congress as one of the co-founders of the ANC Youth League in 1944; opened South Africa’s first black law firm with his ANC comrade Oliver Tambo in 1952; and became the father of five children.

A leading figure in the ANC’s armed struggle against the government’s apartheid policies, he was already serving a five-year sentence for leaving the country without a passport and inciting workers to strike in 1962 when he was charged with sabotage in 1963 and sentenced to life imprisonment the following year.

By the time he was released in 1990, after more than twenty-seven years of incarceration, his image and story had become synonymous with the international anti-apartheid movement. He was jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 and became South Africa’s first democratically elected president in 1994.

He is the author of the international bestseller Long Walk to Freedom and its sequel, Dare Not Linger: The Presidential Years, which was published in 2017. He died in December of 2013.

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