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Extended Audio Sample Invictus: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Made a Nation, by John Carlin Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (1,550 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: John Carlin Narrator: Gideon Emery Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Beginning in a jail cell and ending in a rugby tournament—the true story of how the most inspiring charm offensive in history brought South Africa together.

After being released from prison and winning South Africa’s first free election, Nelson Mandela presided over a country still deeply divided by fifty years of apartheid. His plan was ambitious if not far-fetched: use the national rugby team, the Springboks—long an embodiment of white-supremacist rule—to embody and engage a new South Africa as they prepared to host the 1995 World Cup. The string of wins that followed not only defied the odds, but capped Mandela’s miraculous effort to bring South Africans together again in a hard-won, enduring bond.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A triumphant conversion…It is a portrait of South Africa’s answer to George Washington and it works because Carlin got so close to Mandela and the people Mandela seduced.”

    Financial Times

  • “Revelatory…A tight, gripping and powerful book that shines a light on a moment of hope, not just for one nation but the whole world.”

    Daily Express (London)

  • “Carlin…personally interviewed most of the principals involved in this fascinating story and undertook the project with Mandela’s blessing. A new slant on the familiar but always inspiring saga of Mandela’s rise to power.”

    Booklist (starred review)

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Brian | 2/14/2014

    " There are well written sports tales. There are many insightful political tomes. There are many wonderful works of history that brings the lives and struggles of real human beings to the fore. Few works combine all three. I can think of a handful, like "unbroken" and "carlise vs. army". At a time when nation's around the world fell apart and erupted in war, South Africa remade itself as a country and a people. This is the story of a man who transcended race to become a symbol of his new nation, a team that was a symbol of oppression that became a symbol of brotherhood, and a decades long struggle for the soul of a country. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Jackson | 2/7/2014

    " It really made me appreciate what Mandela has done. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Annettemason | 2/5/2014

    " Loved the history of Nelson Mandela and gave me an appreciation for the impact sports can have in our society. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Emilia | 2/1/2014

    " Finally gave up on this one, since the writing is egregious. Historically rich, but severely dry. I haven't been that bored since reading all of those "so-and-so begat so-and-so"s in the Old Testament. I might have hung in there if I didn't have so many other exciting books waiting for my attention. "

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About the Author
Author John Carlin

John Carlin grew up in Argentina and in the UK and spent 1989–95 in South Africa as the Independent’s correspondent there. He has also writen for the (London) Times, the Observer, the Sunday Times, and the New York Times. His previous books include Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Made a Nation, the basis of the Oscar-nominated film Invictus, and Knowing Mandela.