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Download Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela Audiobook

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4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (12,918 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Nelson Mandela Narrator: Michael Boatman Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2011 ISBN: 9781611139297
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Nelson Mandela is one of the great moral and political leaders of our time—an international hero whose lifelong dedication to the fight against racial oppression in South Africa won him the Nobel Peace Prize and the presidency of his country. Since his triumphant release in 1990 from more than a quarter-century of imprisonment, Mandela has been at the center of the most compelling and inspiring political drama in the world.


As president of the African National Congress and head of South Africa’s antiapartheid movement, he was instrumental in moving the nation toward multiracial government and majority rule. He is revered everywhere as a vital force in the fight for human rights and racial equality. The foster son of a Thembu chief, Mandela was raised in the traditional, tribal culture of his ancestors, but at an early age he learned the modern, inescapable reality of what came to be called apartheid, one of the most powerful and effective systems of oppression ever conceived.

In classically elegant and engrossing prose, Mandela tells of his early years as an impoverished student and law clerk in Johannesburg, of his slow political awakening, and of his pivotal role in the rebirth of a stagnant ANC and the formation of its Youth League in the 1950s. He describes the struggle to reconcile his political activity with his devotion to his family, the anguished breakup of his first marriage, and the painful separations from his children. He brings vividly to life the escalating political warfare in the fifties between the ANC and the government, culminating in his dramatic escapades as an underground leader and the notorious Rivonia Trial of 1964, at which he was sentenced to life imprisonment. He recounts the surprisingly eventful twenty-seven years in prison and the complex, delicate negotiations that led both to his freedom and to the beginning of the end of apartheid.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “One of the most extraordinary political tales of the twentieth century, and well worth the investment for anyone truly interested in the genesis of greatness.”

    Financial Times (London)

  • “The famously taciturn South African president reveals much of himself in Long Walk to Freedom. A good deal of this autobiography was written secretly while Mandela was imprisoned for twenty-seven years.”

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • “Should be read by every person alive.”

    Boston Sunday Globe

  • “An engrossing tapestry of recent South African history that grips the reader from the first pages…Riveting and sometimes painfully honest.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “To read of Nelson Mandela’s fascinating journey…is to be reminded of the indomitable human spirit. Yet the reminder is delivered with such grace and subtlety that it intensifies its meaning.”

    San Diego Union-Tribune

  • “This fluid memoir matches South African President Mandela’s stately grace with wise reflection on his life and the freedom struggle that defined it. Mandela began this book in 1975, during his twenty-seven-year imprisonment...the story fascinates.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “This is an articulate, moving account of Mandela’s life from his ‘country childhood’ following his birth on July 18, 1918 to his inauguration as president of South Africa on May 10, 1994...Highly recommended for all collections.”

    Library Journal

  • “This memoir is remarkably free of polemics, self-pity, and self-aggrandizement. It is the work of a man who has led by action and examplea man who is one of the few genuine heroes we have.”  

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Narrator Michael Boatman has a gentle but insistent voice that suggests a certain grace and is well suited for the memoir of this worldwide symbol of persistence and justice…This is his story, told in his war, and we must take notice.”

    AudioFile

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Robert Hill | 2/4/2014

    " The story of Nelson Mandela is an amazing story. It is remarkable that this man opposed and defeated apartheid through a very systematic use of the rule of law, a rule of law that was maintained by an oppressor. The story of how apartheid was implemented is instructive and insidious. There is a common thread of an enslavement of a continent by Europeans that have been very destructive to Africans. I have thought in the past that Capitalism was an engine that brought people to their creative best. I think that there is a flaw in the way that economic benefits have not equally redounded to the benefit of all on a more equitable basis. I guess I view the history of the African continent as one of being exploited by the Western world. There are many lessons to be taken from the life of Mandela. It is amazing to me that he maintained his sanity in experiencing so much discrimination and racism. There are ways that I find him remarkable and yet this autobiography paints him in the light of an ordinary man in many ways. His life also brings to light the need for all of us to be a force for justice in the world. The struggle for equity in human relations is a constant struggle for all of us. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Valarie | 1/29/2014

    " This was indeed a LONG walk. Since Mandela is not a writer by trade, many passages were exhausting and disorganized. Besides the difficulty, though, this was an excellent book. Mandela's voice was very honest, as he admitted to his mistakes during the struggle for freedom, and I was surprised to learn about his role in the violent "uprisings" that he claims helped to bring about the end of apartheid. While I believe that apartheid could have been ended through international pressure, economic sabotage, and strikes and protests, I can't say for sure because I wasn't there. Overall, this loooong book was very worth it and I'd highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in race issues or modern African history. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris Gould | 1/16/2014

    " Interesting take on life under Apartheid and the ANC. Book is as long as the Walk! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shandon | 1/7/2014

    " JUST HOPE THT OUR BELOVED COUNTRY CAN FOLLOW TATA'S WAY OF LIFE THAN OUR COUNTRY WOULD BE MUCH BETTER!!!! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sandra Olshaski | 1/6/2014

    " It is obvious that this autobiography has been written by an educated/erudite man, trained as a lawyer. In fact, he and his partner set up the first black legal office in South Africa. He uses many African words throughout the book, but also provides a translation for those words. The narrative is very detailed in its explanation of the formation of the ANC (African National Congress)of which he was a part. I wanted to read his autobiography to understand why Nelson Mandela spent 27 years in prison (that is fully discussed) and what enabled him to endure. During his incarceration he not only acted as legal counsel for some of the inmates who were unjustly imprisoned, but he also taught classes to the uneducated African men (not political prisoners) who were also at Robben Island (his prison). The reader can expect to read of the indignities suffered by Mandela and other black political prisoners, but the book does not dwell on that. This is a book that will appeal to readers who care about injustice and inequality and the enduring search for freedom in all its forms. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Debbie Howell | 1/1/2014

    " I read an abridged version, so maybe missed out a bit. Mandela is amazing and his story is interesting, but the the book was written in such a matter-of-fact way that I think it didn't communicate his story as powerfully as it could have been told. I would like to have heard more about his thoughts and personal struggles, as well as how his personal philosophy developed, but then maybe that's what was lost in the abridged version. Autobiographies are sometimes disappointing. Still, I would recommend the book as an overview of Mandela's life. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Emillam | 12/31/2013

    " An excellent book--very compelling story of such a profound leader...a must read for all who want to learn about authentic leadership. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ian Alexander | 12/26/2013

    " Fantastic and inspiring read. Long but easily absorbed. What a wise and powerful figure had to endure on the road tro lead South Africa out of apartheid is brilliantly and for the most part humbly portrayed by Mandela. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Moses | 12/26/2013

    " Not the easiest to read, but great way to get to understand the character of a person of such strong will in the midst of suffocating oppression. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sergio GRANDE films | 12/6/2013

    " This should be mandatory reading for anyone wanting to use the words South Africa in any conversation. In fact, it should be mandatory reading. Period. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Myriam | 11/8/2013

    " Totally inspiring. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 theladyv | 10/29/2013

    " Put this on your to-read list immediately. A thrilling read, which is just so rare for an autobiography. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 April Sanders | 10/23/2013

    " I learned many things from Nelson Mandela. The most important was how to forgive. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sonny Wake | 3/21/2013

    " Inspiring,what a man should be. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rena | 11/8/2012

    " For an autobiography, this book was not that bad. It is simply lengthy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Frank Snell | 8/28/2012

    " Nelson Mandela is an amazing person, and what they accomplished in South Africa is unique. There is a lot of detail that is of limited interest to a person who is not African. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sandra | 7/7/2012

    " Read it on the subway when I lived in Queens and worked in NJ. Made me completely forget where I was. Amazing journey, amazing man. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ahmed El-gasir | 1/7/2012

    " Excellent book about the life of a leader. The most important point in the book is the transformation from using/justifying violence to dismantle the apartheid system to accepting political dialogue with the Afrikaners. The decision was taken by Mr. Mandela, a very bold and courageous step. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 BJM | 12/30/2011

    " An "easy" read despite the length. Very engaging. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marc | 9/19/2011

    " It would take a book within itself to write about what I learned from this book, this man. All I can say is that his life should be the blueprint for Men and Women everywhere. Read it, you won't regret it! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susanna | 8/17/2011

    " I love how straightforward Mandela is; his ability to report his own history without pride or defense continually surprises and amazes me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Abhinav Khushraj | 7/20/2011

    " Theres a lot to learn from this man about so many things. About life, politics, tenacity, humility, influencing. Just loved the matter of factly way in which he writes. A bit too long though. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 ashish | 7/3/2011

    " Lots and lots of details. Would have been better if I had more knowledge about South African history. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Parveen | 7/1/2011

    " awesome book....very precious lessons to learn from his life. Only wondering what took me so long to pick up this book! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ali | 6/30/2011

    " Long and kind of hard to read, given that the history of the country is not as much a part of my history as it could be. But, a fascinating life and heroic figure. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Travis | 6/26/2011

    " I have often said that it is impossible to accomplish a lot AND be universally popular and this man's book and his life is a quintessential example of the veracity of that statement. Well worth reading... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Luis | 6/20/2011

    " A great book for community organizers. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Neilbazza | 6/11/2011

    " Probably the most inspiring book I'll ever read. The man is superhuman. It's a good one to read if you're feeling sorry for yourself. It will knock you into shape! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Steve | 6/4/2011

    " This was an excellent read. Some aspects of it challenged me (such as his decision to embrace violence), but I appreciated Mandela's candor in discussing the subject. I came away with deep respect for Mandela and his politics even if I disagree with some of his methods. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jessica | 5/30/2011

    " After 5 months I finally finished this book and I'm so glad I did. What a remarkable leader and person Mandela is! His life is an example of sacrifice, patience, will power, and love of fellow men. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steve | 5/23/2011

    " The audio version of this book is especially well done. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 James | 5/20/2011

    " An amazing insight into an amazing man. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marilyn | 5/16/2011

    " It took me a while to read this book (a whole year, which is long for me). It was an amazing book and story of Mandela's life. "

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About the Author
Author Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela became the first freely elected president of South Africa in 1994. He gained popularity while in prison for being a prominent member of the African National Congress and became a leading figure in the antiapartheid movement. He is the author of numerous works, including the New York Times bestseller Conversations with Myself, as well as his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom. Mandela has received many accolades and awards worldwide, most notably the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom from former president George W. Bush.

About the Narrator

Michael Boatman is an Image Award–nominated actor and writer who is best known for his roles in the television series China BeachSpin City, and Arliss. He has also appeared in the major motion pictures The Peacemaker and Hamburger Hill. His audiobook narration has garnered seven AudioFile Earphones Awards and earned him the prestigious Audie Award in 2008 and 2010.