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Playing the Enemy Nelson Mandela and the Game That Made a Nation

N Nelson Mandela presided over a country still deeply divided by fifty years of apartheid His plan was ambitious if not far fetched use the national rugby team the Springboks long an embodiment of white supremacist rule to embody and. Basically put Nelson Mandela is the MAN We tend to reduce people to symbols to say oh yeah him he s the guy that did this or she s the that girl or whatnot And that was basically the nature of my knowledge of Mandela a vague sense of his wisdom and love of freedom or somethingI don t know if this is the best book ever written about Mandela But reading it definitely has given me a fuller appreciation of a man I had once thought of only as a symbol He is a master manipulator ambitious pragmatic He is endlessly self aware and self assured He is a cosmopolitan world leader But without doubt the thing I found most remarkable about Mandela is that he spent 27 years in prison by the decree of a racist white government yet emerged proclaiming that Afrikaners were sons of Africa That he could say such words and mean them signals to me such a depth of wisdom courage and compassion In his eyes the solution to South Africa s problems didn t include expelling or taking revenge against whites but rather meant reaching out to them forgiving them and alternately manipulating forcing seducing them to embrace justice and true democracy Which is where the rugby part comes in Rugby it turns out had been percieved as the white man s sport and therefore derided by blacks as a state symbol of Apartheid For years the African National Congress Mandela s political party forbade international rugby games to take place in South Africa Mandela though had the foresight to imagine that rugby could become a unifying point for all South Africans And so he repealed the international ban on South African rugby and the country hosted the 1995 world cup setting the stage for a spectacular outcome both in the game and for the country

Summary È eBook, PDF or Kindle ePUB ´ John Carlin

Engage a new South Africa as they prepared to host the 1995 World Cup The string of wins that followed not only defied the odds but capped Mandela's miraculous effort to bring South Africans together again in a hard won enduring bon. Good if flawed account of Mandela s struggle to unify South Africa The author did a good job in showing how tenuous the country was during Mandela s term as president and Mandelas role in stabilizing a very dangerous period in history However there are just too many flaws in this book to thoroughly enjoy it First there is the formal and stiff writing style of the author It tends to be unfocused in describing the events Secondly while The author sincerely admires Mandela and there is much to be admired the adulation tends to be a bit heavy Third The Rugby part of the book doesn t really become important until the last uarter This is probably good since I know nothing about Rugby however I found it inspiring to read about how Mandela worked with his past enemies to unify a country In the scheme of things even this Rugby game seeedm to be a bit exaggerated in its importance This is a good example of the movie being better than the book The Academy in a hard won enduring bon. Good Full Dark, No Stars if flawed account of Mandela s struggle to unify South Africa The author did a good job If Only Once (The Martelli Brothers, in showing how tenuous the country was during Mandela s term as president and Mandelas role 1000 sitios que ver en España al menos una vez en la vida in stabilizing a very dangerous period La ética de la crueldad in history However there are just too many flaws 3052 in this book to thoroughly enjoy Intégrale Gunnm Last Order Other Stories it First there Mercator is the formal and stiff writing style of the author It tends to be unfocused Pasos perdidos en Granada in describing the events Secondly while The author sincerely admires Mandela and there Suffering and no suffering is much to be admired the adulation tends to be a bit heavy Third The Rugby part of the book doesn t really become Can We Live 150 Years? important until the last uarter This The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears is probably good since I know nothing about Rugby however I found Robs Shiny Dumptruck it Business English inspiring to read about how Mandela worked with his past enemies to unify a country In the scheme of things even this Rugby game seeedm to be a bit exaggerated Roller Girl in Mama Glow its Fire in the Sky importance This olga spessivtzeva is a good example of the movie being better than the book

John Carlin ´ 7 Review

Beginning in a jail cell and ending in a rugby tournament the true story of how the most inspiring charm offensive in history brought South Africa togetherAfter being released from prison and winning South Africa's first free electio. I m not going to belabor the point here as I ususally doWe often act despite everyone s acknowledgement to the contrary as if our generation invented racism homosexuality godlessness greed gluttony and sometimes hate If we don t buy in to that common portrayal of who caued history s woes we sometimes still seem to see these things as ours to fix and take ownership where it s difficult to establish who is responsible for what We must stop this NOW yet if the problem has lasted for centuries why bring the same arguments and tools to the table that have never worked in the pastNow we sit in ivory towers under white buildings that look as if someone has set an overturned coffee cup on top of a rectangular whit box and draw battle lines on paper instead of in the sand Money becomes blood Law becomes the sword and we call ourselves civilized while in practice little changes save what one side or the other s needs for a new battle Try as we might we look back at our history in our past and scour present with fine toothed combs struggling to find heroes with perfect faces that can be mounted on milk cartons and billboards to show off dazzling smiles Failing to do that we make up or own and post their images choosing to believe as truths that really came from the darkest imagination in which they had been created In ignorance we ignored the true heroes who toil in obscurity to overcome massive mountains of trumped up thought with ages of experience at believing imagined rights and wrongs Faces that failed the test of photogenics and lighting or voices that seemed drol and ordinary instead of heroic While most of us in the US were absorbed in our own misery and joy either make believe or real in South Africa from 1985 to 1995 a battle raged Sometimes the battle involved blood and bone blade and bullet Sometimes these battles involved paper and law authority and anarchy Sometimes it involved thoughts and emotions both real and self cultivated and sometimes politics This was nothing as simple as a war of guns and bullets though there was plenty of that to go around this was a war for hearts and minds A war over that fragile illusive thing we choose as our Identity as a person and a nation and the relationship between us While most of the United states continued about their lives in blissful ignorance tipping the metaphorical hat at news stories and other odd things in press and on television the most important battle of our time had been started fought and won steming the tide of bloodhsed rather than causing to bleed It was perhaps the most important battle of all time about human rights and human dignity and the right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness with no barriers or glass ceilings decided by the colour of your skin and no privlidges ripped away by an angry fledgling government of wounded victimized warriors This book reads like a 300 page newspaper article John Carlin is after all a journalist It starts with a long history lesson that is as distasteful as it is interesting and wicked as it is wise In the middle the book turns to a tale of manipulation cunning and charm By the end it s a tale of triumph A bloodless coup where there were no casualties and the enemy joined the victors in celebration dancing in the streestsand the rest of the world slept with only a few even registering the importance of what was going on Our acknowlegement of what had passed held in check our need to have villains and faces to rail at and call shameful names and make believe heroes to occupy our guilt This book reads like the weather in Maine The first part is the cruel winter that seems to last well than it s fair uarter A brief spring that is far to short a blistering summer and a beautiful autum with gold and red leaves dancing in the wind As they say in Maine If you don t stay for the winters then you do not deserve the spring and summer Let no man be so foolish as to think that sports a national sport is only a thing of fancy or a bottle passion for sale to the highest bidder Surely those things can happen but here the galvanizing agent that started a healthy conversation about how Blacks and Whites in South Africa could live in peace without fear of eachother started with a A Hoolagin s sport played by gentleman A brutal sport of Contact and bone jaring collision amazing speed and skill played by strong men with the hearts of lions For Whites as one Rugger in the book put it For once we were not the bad guys everybody s favorite villains The people were behind us The whole world was behind us and we felt it We had regained our dignity after years of being everyone s enemy For blacks led by Nelson Mandella it was a chance to show that victors are not always vengeful Sometimes they are thoughttful and caring and understanding of simple pleasures That your fears of us are not waranted this is how we prove it It s a great book Everyone should read it


10 thoughts on “Playing the Enemy Nelson Mandela and the Game That Made a Nation

  1. says:

    Nelson Mandela is my hero Rugby is my game I'm from the South Wales valleys 'nuff said Simply the best book I've r

  2. says:

    I'm not going to belabor the point here as I ususally doWe often act despite everyone's acknowledgement to the con

  3. says:

    I had tears in my eyes remembering that incredible day in Johannesburg as if it were yesterday I remember during the rugby World Cup final that the streets were eerily silent as every South African sat rapt in front of their television hoping against all hope that our team could accomplish the impossible I was 12 years ol

  4. says:

    Fascinating I'm a huge rugby fan and I have a strong interest in SA politics I've read Mandela's autobiography but this was a close up on a short period of time with a different focus I've seen the footage of the 1995 Rugby World Cup and I've heard firsthand accounts of the way it brought the country together but this book gave me

  5. says:

    1994 was a critical year for South Africa A president had been elected by almost two thirds of voters in the first truly democratic one perso

  6. says:

    Basically put Nelson Mandela is the MAN We tend to reduce people to symbols to say oh yeah him he's the guy that did this or she's the that girl or whatnot And that was basically the nature of my knowledge of Mandela a vague sense of his wisdom and love of freedom or somethingI don't know if this is the best book ever written about Mandela

  7. says:

    Good if flawed account of Mandela's struggle to unify South Africa The author did a good job in showing how tenuous the country was during Mandela's term as president and Mandelas role in stabilizing a very dangerous period in history However there are just too many flaws in this book to thoroughly enjoy it First there is the formal and stiff

  8. says:

    Invictus Out of the night that covers meBlack as the Pit from pole to poleI thank whatever gods may beFor my unconuerable soulIn the fell clutch of circumstanceI have not winced nor cried aloudUnder the bludgeonings of chan

  9. says:

    This book is both inspiring and boring If you want to know about how South Africa was able to avert THE civil war that all

  10. says:

    Carlin uotes Albert Camus as writing that 27 years in prison makes a man a killer or a weakling or a combination of both How then did Nelson Mandela who spent 27 years in a South African prison escape this fate and become the leader w

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