Excerpts from Mandela book

AP News
Posted: Oct 11, 2010 3:36 AM
Excerpts from Mandela book

Excerpts from a new volume of Nelson Mandela memoirs, "Conversations with Myself," that goes on sale Tuesday around the world.


From a 1969 letter to his then-wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, after he was informed of the death of his son, Thembi, in a car accident:

"I find it difficult to believe that I will never see Thembi again. On February 23 this year he turned 24. I had seen him towards the end of July 1962 a few days after I had returned from a trip abroad. Then he was a lusty lad of 17 that I could never associate with death. He wore one of my trousers which was a shade too big and long for him. The incident was significant and set me thinking. As you know he had a lot of clothing, and was particular about his dress and had no reason whatsoever for using my clothes. I was deeply touched for the emotional factors underlying his action were too obvious. For days thereafter my mind and feelings were agitated to realize the psychological strains and stresses my absence from home had imposed on the children."


From a 1969 letter to his daughters Zenani and Zindzi, then 9 and 10, after Madikizela-Mandela was detained by police, a form of harassment she endured frequently during the 27 years he was imprisoned:

"All that I wish you always to bear in mind is that we have a brave and determined Mummy who loves her people with all her heart."


Jotted on a 1986 desk calendar:

"Seen the tragic film 'Paul Jacob and Nuclear Gang' plus 'Electric Boogie' a baffling new dance.


From a 1970 letter to Madikizela-Mandela:

"I must be frank and tell you that when I look back at some of my early writings and speeches, I am appalled by their pedantry, artificiality and lack of originality."


From the foreword by U.S. President Barack Obama:

"The first time that I became politically active was during my college years, when I joined a campaign on behalf of divestment, and the effort to end apartheid in South Africa. None of the personal obstacles that I faced as a young man could compare to what the victims of apartheid experienced every day, and I could only imagine the courage that led Mandela to occupy that prison cell for so many years. But his example helped awaken me to the wider world, and the obligations that we all have to stand up for what is right. Through his choices, Mandela made clear that we did not have to accept the world as it is _ that we could do our part to seek the world as it should be."