Mandela: A Critical Life

Paperback | August 26, 2007

byTom Lodge

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Nelson Mandela, the first African politician to acquire a world following, remains in the 21st century an iconic figure. But what are the sources of his almost mythic appeal? And to what extent did Mandela self-consciously create the status of political hero that he now enjoys? This new and highly revealing biography examines these questions in detail for the first time. Drawing on a range of original sources, it presents a host of fresh insights about the shaping of Mandela's personality and public persona, from his childhood days and early activism, through his longyears of imprisonment, to his presidency of the new South Africa. Throughout, Lodge emphasizes the crucial interplay between Mandela's public career and his personal or private world, showing how his heroic status was a product both of his leading position within the anti-apartheid movement and hisown deliberate efforts to supply a form of quasi-messianic leadership for that movement. And as Lodge shows, Mandela's huge international appeal is a compelling and unusual cocktail. Of the sacred and the secular. Of traditional African values and global media savvy. And of human vulnerablilty, interwoven with the grand narrrative of liberation.

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Nelson Mandela, the first African politician to acquire a world following, remains in the 21st century an iconic figure. But what are the sources of his almost mythic appeal? And to what extent did Mandela self-consciously create the status of political hero that he now enjoys? This new and highly revealing biography examines these que...

Tom Lodge was a member of the Department of Political Studies at the University of Witwatersrand between 1978 and 2005. He is now Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at Limerick University in Ireland. He has also worked in the United States as Director of the Africa Program at the Social Science Research Council. He is the author ...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 7.72 × 5.08 × 0.79 inPublished:August 26, 2007Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199219354

ISBN - 13:9780199219353

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Table of Contents

1. Childhood and Upbringing2. Becoming a Notable3. Volunteer-in-Chief4. Making a Messiah5. Trials6. Prisoner 466/647. Leading from Prison8. Messianic Politics and the Transition to Democracy9. Embodying the Nation

Editorial Reviews

`The best overall assessment of Mandela to date... Readers who want to understand Mandela's symbolic and actual achievements - and what he failed to accomplish during his presidency - will find more information, insight, and judgment in this slim volume than in the many weightier titlesdevoted to this protean figure.'The Atlantic