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The Prison Letters of Nelson Mandela

Publish date: 11 February 2019
Issue Number: 810
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Category: general

The Prison Letters of Nelson Mandela

 

Edited by Sahm Venter

Penguin. R425

 

Poignant, impassioned, gripping, and always inspirational, the letters - many of them never seen by the public - have been assembled from the collections held by the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the South African National Archives among others. During his incarceration, Mandela would pen a multitude of letters to loved ones, compatriots, prison authorities, and government officials. Illustrated with facsimiles and generously annotated, the book covers every aspect of life behind bars for the future South African leader, and provides new 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, as his imprisonment dragged into its fourth decade. And a new portrait emerges of his close relationship with Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, whose own battle with the apartheid system during the same period is documented dramatically through their letters. In them Mandela professes his love, but also a deep appreciation and moral support for her efforts on behalf of the movement.

 

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