Nelson Mandela is widely considered to be one of the most inspiring and iconic figures of our age. Now, after a lifetime of taking pen to paper to record thoughts and events, hardships and victories, he has bestowed his entire extant personal papers which offer an unprecedented insight into his remarkable life. A singular international publishing event, Conversations with Myself draws on Mandela’s personal archive of never-before-seen materials to offer unique access to the private world of an incomparable world leader. Journals kept on the run during the anti-apartheid struggle of the early 1960s; diaries and draft letters written in Robben Island and other South African prisons during his 27 years of incarceration; notebooks from the post-apartheid transition; private recorded conversations; speeches and correspondence written during his presidency - a historic collection of documents archived at the Nelson Mandela Foundation is brought together into a sweeping narrative of great immediacy and stunning power. An intimate journey from Mandela’s first stirrings of political consciousness to his galvanizing role on the world stage, Conversations with Myself illuminates a heroic life forged on the front lines of the struggle for freedom and justice. While other books have recounted Mandela’s life from the vantage of the present, Conversations with Myself allows for the first time unhindered insight into the human side of the icon.
©2010 Nelson R. Mandela and The Nelson Mandela Foundation (P)2010 Macmillan Audio
I have read nothing by or about Nelson Mandela and picked up this book to learn something new. I have been greatly rewarded by listening to "Conversations with Myself". Conversations allows the reader/listenr to sit with the "elder" of the tribe and learn. It has been a enriching experience because of its content. It contains portions of diaries, notebooks, and other documents accumulated by Mr. Mandela while imprisoned for 27 years. It takes a while to get used to the disjointed narrative, but each tangent brings laughter, tears, understanding and wisdom. This is an amazing man. It takes a few minutes to become accustomed to the rythm and accent of John Kani, but his reading becomes a welcome addition to the prose. Stay with him a few minutes. If I may say, the book has been a blessing.
I am just over a hour into the book. I have not figured out a structure to the book yet. There seem to be all kinds of random quotes from other books and I really have no idea how this is supposed to be structured. I have friends that have loved the print version, but stay away from the audio version. The accent of the narrator makes him very difficult to understand, but more important is the structure of the book. Based on some reviews from Amazon it is mostly segments from biographical writings and interviews but in audio format there is not enough structure to give definition to know what is going on
Favorite quote was “a saint is sinner who keeps on trying”. This is a great companion to the book “Long Walk to Freedom” in that you get insight into the mind of Mandela through his private conversations, letters to loved ones, and other writings through his years of imprisonment and his final freedom. Couldn’t help but feel as one of his jailers recording those conversations and reading those mailings while he was in prison while listening though. A very charismatic leader who was not afraid to embrace his destiny to stand up for what was right no matter what his personal failings might have been.
A transplanted Englishman, I spend my time on biography, history and military books. I appreciate good English and good narration.
I had read nothing about the great man before I heard this book. I found it illuminating and enjoyed the true experience of Mandela's own words. However, there are other books that might suit most readers on a first foray, I am told. This may be something for students rather than general readers. I enjoyed the narrator; that African accent with its slow delivery, open vowels and lingering syllables is very relaxing. So...3 Stars for a review, even if I received a better than usual experience.
I agree with the other reviewer. I'm only about an hour into this book and think I'm done. The reader's accent is very thick. I have to turn the audio up pretty loud and listen closely to get understand what he's saying. The book appears to be a hodgepodge of Mandela's writings with no discernable theme or structure. A real disappointment.
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