Summary of Long Walk to Freedom

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Reading this firsthand, contemporaneous account of Nelson Mandela’s life is an extraordinary opportunity. Mandela, a South African freedom fighter and a political prisoner for 27 years, tells his own saga of how he helped his black countrymen throw off their apartheid chains, how the African National Congress waged and won its struggle, and how he became his nation’s first black president. Learn all this and more, directly from the living legend who brought it to pass. getAbstract recommends this compelling autobiography, an inside view of South Africa’s struggle and the revered Mandela’s unique political life.

About the Author

After 27 years in prison, Nelson Mandela became president of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.



The Birth of the “Troublemaker”

Nelson Mandela was born on July 18, 1918, in a small village in South Africa’s Transkei region. His father named him Rolihlahla, which colloquially translates to “troublemaker” in Xhosa. This moniker proved prophetic. Mandela was born to a noble lineage. His father was a chief of the Thembu tribe, part of the ancient Xhosa nation. As a child, Mandela was a “herd-boy,” tending calves and sheep. His meager diet consisted primarily of “mealies” (corn). He attended a small one-room schoolhouse in his village, often wearing his father’s cutoff pants secured by a string around the waist.

When Mandela was nine, his father died. His family sent him to live with Chief Jongintaba Dalindyebo, the Thembu’s acting regent in Mqhekezweni, “the great place,” Thembuland’s provincial capital. He received a good education for a black South African of his generation, studying at Healdtown, a Wesleyan college in Fort Beaufort, and at the University College of Fort Hare, in Alice. While he was a student, the regent arranged for him to marry the daughter of a Thembu priest. He refused and ran away to Johannesburg.

A Rebel from the Start


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    S. K. 3 days ago
    The summary omits to mention that Mandela and others were found with plans to plant explosives and blow up Johannesburg Station; this lead to his conviction and imprisonment.
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    a. f. 2 months ago
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    A. A. 5 months ago
    Absolutely ❤️ it
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    a. n. 10 months ago
    Great book, highly recommend reading it! As well as watching the movie produced, based on Nelson Mandela!