Nelson Mandela, who emerged from twenty-six years of political imprisonment to lead South Africa out of apartheid and into democracy, is perhaps the world's most admired leader, a man whose life has been led with exemplary courage and inspired conviction.
Now Anthony Sampson, who has known Mandela since 1951 and has been a close observer of South Africa's political life for the last fifty years, has produced the first authorized biography, the most informed and comprehensive portrait to date of a man whose dazzling image has been difficult to penetrate. With unprecedented access to Mandela's private papers (including his prison memoir, long thought to have been lost), meticulous research, and hundreds of interviews--from Mandela himself to prison warders on Robben Island, from Walter Sisulu and Oliver Tambo to Winnie Mandela and F. W. de Klerk, and many others intimately connected to Mandela's story--Sampson has composed an enlightening and necessary story of the man behind the myth.
About the Author
Anthony Sampson (1926 -2004) was a British writer and journalist. He was educated at Westminster School and Christ Church, Oxford and served with the Royal Navy from 1944-47. During the 1950s he edited the magazine Drum in Johannesburg, South Africa. On returning to the United Kingdom he joined the editorial staff of "The Observer", where he worked from 1955-66. Sampson was the author of a series of major books, starting with "Anatomy of Britain" (1962). His main themes were how Britain works as a state, and large corporations. He was also a founding member of the (now defunct) Social Democratic Party (SDP).
"A lively, informative, often moving account of one of the century's most extraordinary lives." --The Boston Globe
"A truly heroic story of the founder of a nation, a man of shrewdness, humanity and simplicity whose power came not from military conquest, but from moral authority." --Chicago Tribune
"The triumph of Mandela is that it successfully demythologizes the man without in any way undermining his heroic stature." --The New York Times Book Review
"Sampson has created a work of astounding breadth." --Newsday