曼德拉「漫漫自由路」- Long Walk to Freedom, by Nelson Mandela

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我們去南非玩的時候我很想了解當地歷史(尤其更了解曼德拉)但當書店老闆推薦我看曼德拉750頁自傳時(中文“漫漫自由路“)我有點傻眼,想說應該有更summarized版本吧。但經過老闆強力推薦後,我想說也好拉都要看南非歷史了不如從曼德拉自己寫的書下手。

結果這本書超好看!它主要是講南非政治和文化的變動,從20世紀初到1994曼德拉當選總統的時候。很不幸的精彩程度不輸小說,而且不但清楚說明歷史事件還完整說明背景和起因,能很完整的了解當時緊繃的政治氛圍。還有我最喜歡的是從書裡可以很清楚看見曼德拉真正領導者的真實面向。

從曼德拉口裡(手裡?)寫出這些事時,可以體會到他很聰明(廢話)、很勇敢和很有原則和信仰的人而且不怕犧牲,但同時也看得到他感性的一面,很善良、有耐心、a good listener、和同情心。從很多小故事和小地方可以看到不同層面的他,也可以理解如此勇敢和堅持的領導者能得到所有南非人的支持帶動整個國家結束種族隔離政策。

除了很精彩以外,同時也很inspiring。怎麼會有人這麼有能力但這麼善良、經歷這麼多折磨還能這麼樂觀、被政府整了一輩子還能教大家原諒。在監獄的27年他的堅定不但沒減少反而還更堅強理智。

我好愛這本書,它同時是南非歷史書、曼德拉自傳和勵志的書。真沒想到反而接近尾巴之後很捨不得要看完了。因這本書只講道1994,接下來我可以看當初買的”After Mandela”了,主要cover 1994到2010。好期待!

講道期待,我等不及曼德拉電影!巴黎要12/18才上映。雖然很多網站都說很好看,好像也得了critics’ award,但我在某個部落格看到負面評語,說拍出來的事件有點biased?? Anyways希望不會失望:)

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During our trip to Jo’burg, I really wanted to get to know the history of South Africa and especially Nelson Mandela, however when the bookstore owner recommended me this 750-page Nelson Mandela autobiography I was a little skeptical, as I was sure I could find something more summarized. But after some consideration I decided to pick it up, as I thought what better way to know the history of SA than in the words of Nelson Mandela himself?

Turns out the owner (and myself) were right! The book is an amazing narrative of the events of SA since Mandela’s birth to his presidency in 1994, and illustrates the socio-economical and cultural shifts and struggles during this century. It’s as exciting as a storybook, as it allows the reader to understand the background behind the facts (apartheid, the struggles and the people’s voices and aspirations), and what I liked the most: it shows the real side of Nelson Mandela, the personality that makes up a true leader.

When Mandela tells the story, you can feel the strength of his personality. He is very smart, tough, brave and with deep rooted principles and beliefs and willing to sacrifice himself for them; yet at the same time very humble, patient, a good listener, and very very compassionate. Through various short stories you can get to know his true character, and understand how truly only an outstanding personality like him could bring the end of apartheid with all the love and support of the South African people.

Other than being an incredibly entertaining (and sadly historically true) story, it is also very inspiring. When seeing the struggle through Nelson Mandela’s eyes, I was so touched and inspired by his courage, pained optimism and humbleness. Even when facing such atrocities for such a long period of time, he never broke but even grew stronger, and was the man to convince his people to let go of the anger to rebuild the country as one. I definitely can’t say I have the courage for that big of a forgiveness…

I loved the book. It is a history book of South Africa, an autobiography of Nelson Mandela, and an inspirational book of a true humanitarian. I was so sad the book had to end! Since the book ended with Mr. Mandela’s presidency, I will now follow up with “After Mandela: The Battle for the Soul of South Africa”, by Alec Russel, which deals with the period since his presidency up until 2010. Can’t wait!

On another note, I HOPEEE the movie is as good as the book! I mean, I hope it can portray the African struggle as complete and un-biased as possible, since I read from some blog that it was one-faceted. But at least it got the 2013 critics’ award! Which is a good sign. The movie is out on Dec 18th in Paris, can’t wait!!! AAH!!!

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