The measure of a politician is not his or her words; spin doctors take care of those. It is what leaders do to improve the lives of their people. A successful lawyer, Nelson Mandela sacrificed career, family and freedom to pursue an extravagant ideal: a non-racist, non-sexist future for a nation apparently determined to remain divided. At his release, after almost three decades in jail, he could have pursued narrow interests; the world would have supported him. Instead, he embraced reconciliation and social justice. Mandela was determined to free not just black South Africans, but all South Africans, from prejudice. And it was in daring to do the unexpected, in weathering criticism from friends, in reaching out to enemies and in honouring the most humble that his greatness was revealed. Award-winning writer Charlene Smith traces the life of a great statesman and tells how Mandela repaired the torn heart of a wounded nation.
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