On this day in 1918, politician and social rights activist Nelson Mandela was born. The former South African president is known for his fight for equality as he spoke against the racism the Black community faced. From strikes to protests on the streets, Mandela’s message was sent and heard by many people around the country. It was especially during his 27-year-long imprisonment that people recognized Mandela as a leader, one that would make textbook history for generations to come.
And that he did. In celebration of his life and many accomplishments, we’ve gathered a list of Nelson Mandela autobiographies that capture the philanthropist perfectly.
No Easy Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela
“This collection of Mandela’s speeches, letters and writing vividly illustrates the magnetic attractions of one of the foremost campaigners for freedom the world has known. This new edition with revised notes and introduction is a valuable historical document and chronicle of the life and thoughts of a man whose name is synonymous with the fight for human rights and self-determination.” Synopsis via Amazon.
Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela
“The riveting memoirs of the outstanding moral and political leader of our time, Long Walk to Freedom brilliantly re-creates the drama of the experiences that helped shape Nelson Mandela’s destiny. Emotive, compelling and uplifting, Long Walk to Freedom is the exhilarating story of an epic life; a story of hardship, resilience and ultimate triumph told with the clarity and eloquence of a born leader.” Synopsis via Amazon.
Conversations with Myself by Nelson Mandela
“From letters written in the darkest hours of his twenty-seven years of imprisonment to the draft of an unfinished sequel to Long Walk to Freedom, Conversations with Myself gives readers access to the private man behind the public figure. Here he is making notes and even doodling during meetings, or transcribing troubled dreams on the desk calendar in his prison cell on Robben Island; writing journals while on the run during the anti-apartheid struggle in the early 1960s, and conversing with friends in almost seventy hours of recorded conversations. Here he is neither icon nor saint.” Synopsis via Amazon.
Notes to the Future: Words of Wisdom by Nelson Mandela
“Notes to the Future is the definitive book of quotations from one of the great leaders of our time. This collection—gathered from privileged access to Mandela’s vast personal archive of private papers, speeches, correspondence, and audio recordings—features more than three hundred quotations spanning more than sixty years and includes his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech.
These inspirational quotations, organized into four sections—Struggle, Victory, Wisdom, and Future—are both universal and deeply personal. We see Mandela’s sense of humor, his loneliness and despair, his thoughts on fatherhood, and the reluctant leader who had no choice but to become the man history demanded.” Synopsis via Amazon.
Prison Letters by Nelson Mandela
“Featuring 94 letters selected from that landmark collection, as well as six new letters that have never been published, this historic paperback provides an essential political history of the late twentieth century and illustrates how Mandela maintained his inner spirit while imprisoned. Whether they’re longing love letters to his wife, Winnie; heartrending notes to his beloved children; or articulations of a human-rights philosophy that resonates today, these letters reveal the heroism of a man who refused to compromise his moral values in the face of extraordinary human punishment, invoking a “story beyond their own words (New York Times).” Synopsis via Amazon.