Mandela: The Authorised Biography is a study of Nelson Mandela, the former President of South Africa, by the late journalist Anthony Sampson. Sampson’s book. Widely considered to be the most important biography of Nelson Mandela, Antony Sampson’s remarkable book has been updated with an afterword by. Perhaps no living historical figure, with the possible exception of Pope John Paul II, enjoys the worldwide honor and affection accorded Nelson Mandela. All the.

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Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Mandela by Anthony Sampson. The Authorised Biography by Anthony Sampson. The author has known Mandela since the s, and has been given complete access to all his personal papers, to Mandela himself, and to his friends and political associates, to write the full story of Mandela’s life.

In addition to covering his years before, during and after his incarceration, the author assesses Mandela’s impact as President on South Africa and the world.

He also reveals many features of the apartheid system that have hitherto biographt hidden, and describes the changing attitudes of big business to the ANC and to Mandela himself. The result is an authoritative biography of one of the greatest men of the 20th century. Paperbackpages. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Mandela: The Authorised Biography

To ask other readers questions about Mandelaplease sign up. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Nov 24, L rated it really liked it Shelves: This book gives a comprehensive account of Mandela’s political career, his role in the ANC and the S. Coming from a country that shares Commonwealth links with South Africa and which has its own history of colonisation, I started this biography with what I considered to be the slightest hint of background knowledge.

On that count I was terribly, terribly mistaken. It’s a complex issue, involving many diverse social and political groups and I’m sure it will take me smapson This book gives a comprehensive account of Mandela’s political career, his role in the ANC and the S.

It’s a complex issue, involving many diverse social and political groups and I’m sure it authorizer take me many more years of reading to attain that ‘slight hint of knowledge’. Not that I mind.

It’s a fascinating subject. But I did feel that Nelson Mandela ‘the person’ gets a little sampxon amongst all this comprehensive political coverage.

The blurb says that Sampson was given ‘ Aside from a few photographs, almost no primary source material has been reprinted in this book. It’s all secondary information, told to us through Sampson’s point of view. For example, there are no speeches.

Mandela: The Authorised Biography – Anthony Sampson – Google Books

We are told about the speeches, and made to believe that they were important, and yet we are barely given a segment of them to read ourselves.

Likewise there are no complete letters, and the longest quote runs for half a page. Next on my list is his autobiography; so, until then Dec 11, Joyce rated sampsoon really liked it Shelves: Not likely to read this straight through because of its length, but I’m going to try.

Finished Part 1 before Christmas. January 17, just passed the halfway mark, making progress. Yesterday being Asmpson Luther King, Jr. Day here in America, I read a good portion of Mandela. I read that the political prisoners on Robben Island hated the U. I’m up towhen they have been imprisoned for twelve tne or more, with no help from the west. They felt rather fo Public library copy. They felt rather forgotten. Just over halfway, Mandela is still in prison, incredibly long imprisonment.


Effective leadership, effective governing involves patience, a willingness to listen to your opponent sand the ability to talk, wait, talk and wait. What a sad story. All that work, and more work, and not being able to achieve his dreams. Not that he was unsuccessful, he succeeded in establishing, peacefully, a multi-racial government, which is huge. But the dream of equality msndela living for the black Africans and minority groupsthe messes which the apartheid government left for the ANC to clean biograpny, and who knows how much corruption continued as the two groups worked together, was massive.

Working together with deKlirk would be like having Obama stay on board while Trump is president It’s a hard story. There’s much to consider between ideology and the practical workings of government. There’s much to learn about many areas, from Mandela himself and from others.

It’s an incredible story that so many worked for so many decades unswerving from their cause, which is Mandela’s primary strength.

His focus, at the cost of his family. This book is well written and documented, using some firsthand information as the author was in and out of South Africa for the entire time of Mandela’s public life, some written sources, and many interviews, some by the author, and media sources.

It’s not too difficult, save for the length. It’s fairly clean also, a biograhpy places where language is in quotes, but not in the text. A quote from Mandela on page A violent clash is now unavoidable and when we have fought it out and akthorized the country to ashes it will still be necessary authogized us to sit down together and talk about the problems of reconstruction–the back man and the white man, the African and the Afrikaner. I especially like the final chapter where the author talks about Image and Reality, comparing the icon with the real Mandela.

The author biographh Mandela as a genuine person, who because of his madnela to his goal of interracial democratic government, to be achieved without civil war, combined with the inner strengths he developed in prison at Robben Island, was successful in achieving ths goal, in spite of missteps along the way, and in spite of the multitude of barriers thrown his way.

It came authorizde a price, that of giving up his family for his country, which Mandela himself admits. Mandela’s ability to negotiate with antohny apartheid government, not for himself but for his country, his unswerving goal of freeing all minorities, putting them on equal footing with whites, and his ability to work with all tribes, seeing them all as African, is incredible.

This is a great read, though long, which doesn’t get dry or lag, but moves right along. It covers much time and much detail and in the end boils it all down to the infallible man, Madiba, who saved South Africa without a civil war. I recommend this book to all interested in the story of apartheid in South Africa or Nelson Mandela or revolution without civil war or you just want something out of the ordinary to read.

I took a class in law school about Mandela- he was a lawyer, did you know? This professor actually KNEW alot of the political figures mentioned in this biography.

I think this is the best Mandela biography antuony there. Mar 01, Fraser rated it really authorizes it. I enjoyed this book so much more than “Conversations with Myself”. Obviously so much more complete, but so well written, very objectively and yet still a sense of real knowledge about the subject. I initially thought it might be a long hard slog, particularly through the early chapters, but far from it.

Mandela: The Authorised Biography by Anthony Sampson

The book was fascinating at all times of Mandela’s life from start to finish. I think the “Long Walk to Freedom” will surely have to be on my list bioggraphy soon! Incredibly human, very inspiring and full of varying perspectives, every person who reads this book will see Mandela with his achievements, failures, loyalties and shortcomings in a way that honors not only how Mandela influenced his nation and the world, but how his experiences in biovraphy struggle turned a naive tribal leader into a global leader who transcended politics, country and race.


Jul 27, Tom Nixon rated it it was amazing. I remember South Africa’s first post-apartheid elections in I remember hearing the stories about the life of Nelson Mandela and how he had lead the fight against apartheid and authorizex nearly two decades in prison. I remember my mother listening to Ladysmith Black Mambazo and watching Sarafina.

So, I ran to the local book store and snagged a biography of what mxndela Boston Globe accurately called ‘one of the century’s most extraordinary lives. Sampson, who spent decades in South Africa as a journalist first met Nelson Mandela in and was given unprecedented access to Mandela’s papers and accounts of his time in jail in what is billed as an ‘authorized biography. The first thing that stands out about this biography is that its essentially a meticulous history of contemporary South Africa mande,a from before World War II right up until the present day.

Cuban intervention in the Angolan Civil War became a Cold War flashpoint and Namibia’s then Southwest Africa fight for independence put even more pressure on the white government and domestic pressures to end apartheid helped bring the situation to a boiling point by swmpson s that eventually saw Mandela released and apartheid end. However, appropriately because after all it is a biography of the man, the meat of this volume concerns Nelson Mandela.

Popular perception, at least in my head seems to think that Mandela has been presented to the world as a sort of Gandhi-like, Martin Luther King Jr-type of smpson.

Non-violent with gobs of moral authority that lead his country peacefully saampson of apartheid and into democracy- and while some of that is true, what surprised me was that throughout the struggle against apartheid, Mandela and the ANC never renounced the use of violence. As terrorist groups go, the ANC was far from what I would call successful, never really being able to mount a sustained campaign within South Africa’s borders.

This failure to renounce violence only perpetrated criticism of Mandela and the ANC as merely a terrorist organization and made it all too easy for the apartheid government to use them as a whipping boy to maintain their hold on power. Were they communists, as many more conservative critics of the ANC and Mandela had charged? Well, yes and no. Early on Mandela seems to have been influenced by socialist thinkers and certainly the Communists within South Africa were important allies in the struggle against apartheid, but unlike many Communist Parties, they didn’t really take their marching orders from Moscow.

And to his credit, Sampson takes pains to illustrate Mandela’s evolution in thinking throughout his time in jail- Mandela’s imprisonment being covered in greater detail for the first time. The real astonishing feat of Nelson Mandela came after his release from prison, where he managed to negotiate an end to apartheid and hold his country together, despite the threat of Civil War, which seemed very real in the early 90s.

That and the continued stability of South Africa to this day is a testament to his leadership, moral authority and strength in leading first the fight against apartheid and then his country into a democratic future. Everything you ever wanted to know about Mandela but were afraid to ask in a detailed, meticulous biography that illuminates Mandela’s life and accomplishments to the reader Biographer Anthony Sampson had the advantage of knowing Mandela sinceand had unlimited access to information, papers, and correspondence unavailable to many other historians at that time.