"We are of opinion that instead of letting books grow moldy behind an iron grating, far from the vulgar gaze, it is better to let them wear out by being read." - Jules Verne
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Wednesday, April 2, 2014


Published in 2014 by HighBridge Audio
Hosted by Desmond Tutu
Commentary by Nelson Mandela
Duration: 1 hour, 15 minutes.

Considering that Mandela: An Audio History is the history of the entire apartheid era of South Africa in 75 minutes, this short history is surprisingly thorough and very compelling. 

The audiobook tells the story of apartheid through the story of Nelson Mandela - why he decided to fight against it, how he decided to fight against it, his trial for treason, his time in prison, how the struggle continued with him as the symbol of hope and resistance, the collapse of the apartheid system and it ends with the election of Mandela as president. Each chapter begins with a short introduction by Anglican Bishop Desmond Tutu (also a large voice against apartheid).
Nelson Mandela  (1918-2013)
casting his vote in the 1994

The story is mostly told through interviews with Mandela and dozens of others and also includes snippets from radio and TV news broadcasts. Of course, details are left out. Desmond Tutu's Nobel Prize is not mentioned and Winnie Mandela is glossed over and nothing is mentioned about their marital troubles (to be expected considering their age difference and considering that he was imprisoned for such a long part of their marriage) and her implication in a murder and virtual endorsement of the heinous practice of necklacing.

But, like I already noted, things have to be left out if the goal is a short history. This is a very fine short history of apartheid - very approachable and I found it to be quite engrossing. 

I rate this audiobook 5 stars out of 5. It can be found on Amazon.com here: Mandela: An Audio History by Radio Diaries