The Nelson Mandela Foundation has announced that a new book by Nelson Mandela, “Conversations with Myself”, will be released worldwide in 22 editions and 20 languages from October 12, 2010.
With a foreword by President Barack Obama, “Conversations with Myself” is an intimate journey from the first stirrings of Mr Mandela’s political consciousness to his galvanising role on the world stage. It is a rare chance to spend time with Nelson Mandela the man, in his own voice: direct, clear and private.
President Obama writes that Mandela, who largely retired from public life in 2004, is inspiring even if he is no saint. “Underneath the history that has been made, there is a human being who chose hope over fear – progress over the prisons of the past,” Obama wrote. “And I am reminded that even as he has become a legend, to know the man … is to respect him even more.”
“Conversations” is best read as a companion to “Long Walk,” which was in part calculated by Mandela and other members of his African National Congress party to stir support for anti-apartheid activists as they stepped into new roles as leaders trying to heal and develop a divided, impoverished nation.
The editors of “Conversations” promise the Mandela behind the public figure. But a tell-all would be hard to imagine from Mandela, who spent years as a secretive underground ANC agent, and knew throughout his 27 years in prison that letters to even his closest confidants were being read and censored by apartheid authorities.
Mandela emerged from prison as the most famous African leader of the 20th century, whose words could have far-reaching impact. giving him more reason to be guarded. But there are fascinating glimpses of the inner man, and flashes of his celebrated humor in “Conversations.”
He describes being taken from prison to a hospital to be treated for tuberculosis, and being presented with a breakfast of bacon and eggs despite being on a cholesterol-free diet. When an official warned him against defying doctor’s orders, he replied: “Today, I am prepared to die; I am going to eat it.”
Sales of the book will benefit the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
The foundation, which houses a Mandela archives and supports development and other projects in his name, switched in recent years from a logo featuring Mandela’s face to one of his hands. That reflected his desire to shift the focus from himself, and his concern his legacy would mean little if South Africans did not take it upon themselves to build their country.
“It is in your hands to create a better world for all who live in it,” Mandela said last year, calling on people around the world to celebrate his July 18 birthday by doing good for others.
“Conversations” presents a Mandela more people may feel they can emulate. It ends with a passage from his unpublished autobiography in which he insists he was never a saint – “Even on the basis of an earthly definition of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying”.
Sourced by Mangaung.info via SA – The Good News; originally from Sapa & The Nelson Mandela Foundation