“Here is story-telling that is unique, refreshing, and revealing, and the Nelson Mandela who emerges—more nuanced than I ever understood and even more admirable—is someone you will want to know. You will be both surprised by Mandela’s profoundly complex personality and grateful for Danny Schechter’s creative journalism.”—Bill Moyers
“Danny Schechter’s life-long involvement with the freedom movement in South Africa is very well known and respected. He knows Nelson Mandela’s story deeply and his new book features insights and stories we haven’t heard before.”—Reverend Jesse Jackson, Civil Rights Leader and President of Rainbow Push
“In Madiba A-Z, Danny Schechter gives credit to the many living and dead who carried the torch that helped light the way on Nelson Mandela’s long walk to freedom. No one is better positioned than Schechter to help us understand the challenges, complexities and triumphs of those who made that journey. Madiba A-Z is a must-read companion to Anant Singh’s brilliant film adaptation of Mandela’s book, Long Walk to Freedom, for anyone who wants to appreciate what it took in the past and what it must take in the future for us all to be truly free.”—Charlayne Hunter-Gault, veteran activist, MacNeil-Lehrer Report news anchor, and reporter for CNN and NPR
“Danny Schechter has long earned his spurs by embracing our struggle and communicating its strengths and weaknesses from those risky times, to deepen a lifelong contribution over five decades as a committed and insightful writer, reporter, critic and filmmaker. He’s an outsider who learned to think like an insider. Madiba A to Z tells the story from personal experience and goes beyond the surface with a lively sense of humor and deep caring that even we South Africans can learn from.”—Ronnie Kasrils, former commander in the armed struggle and South Africa’s Minister of Intelligence in the post-apartheid government
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Physical discipline. Boxer, tennis player. His admiration for athletes.
Bully: “Wild Branches”
Early days and “wild branches”—conflicts with ANC leaders. Lessons learned.
How “comradeship” helped him and his fellow prisoners cope with their long years of incarceration.
His role in fashioning a diplomatic compromise and avoiding a race war.
Life as a lawyer. Written statements, letters, and speeches that inspired millions.
Empathy for Afrikaners, and faith in peace and reconciliation.
An international outlook. Global travel and the ability to galvanize support worldwide.
Origins and an austere lifestyle. Making his own bed. Interest in the lives of ordinary people.
Xhosa traditions, and the abiding interest in and connection to people of all races and ethnic identities.
Prison years. How he coped, how he led.
The treason and Rivonia Trials. Prison regulations and his responses to them.
How the law was used to legalize inhumanity.
Love and Loss
His search for love, his flirtatiousness, marriages, love of Winnie, love of children, of family. The measure of the price he paid with his years in prison away from them all.
From his days in the ANC Youth League to launching Umkhonto we Sizwe, the military wing of the ANC.
Dealings with internal conflicts and external threats. Outreach to whites and other minorities.
His philosophy and commitment to creating a new future for his country. His optimism and concern for peace in Africa and the world.
How he was elected and his term in office.
The questions people around the world ask most frequently about Nelson Mandela.
The world recognizes and honors Madiba, but what does he think of this adulation? How does Madiba see and recognize himself?
Standing up for his beliefs. Fighting for the poor and those afflicted with AIDS.
He helped push a nonviolent movement into armed struggle. Was he a terrorist?
There are many sides to Mandela that many do not know.
Voices Raised up in Song
The power of music and praise poetry in the Mandela story, seen through the eyes of two of his favorite artists.
Millions waited years for Mandela’s release after twenty-seven and a half years of incarceration.
The wait continued, even on the day he left prison.
The role of external pressure in winning South African’s liberation and the need, even now, for rebirth away from the old ways.
Youth made the revolution, and Mandela began as a youth leader.
Zuid-Afrika to .za
As it becomes clearer that enormous challenges remain, the country evolves from the Zuid-Afrika of Dutch origin to its Internet domain .za—and beyond.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Mandela biographer remembers the private side of Mandiba