Nelson Mandela Releases Book Of Private Writings

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A new book that collects decades worth of private papers by Nelson Mandela is released this week.

The book, entitled 'Conversations with Myself', is a selection of personal writings and letters that aims to show the private man behind the revered global icon.

Mandela's daughter said the book is a beautiful gift to anyone who reads it.

[Zindzi Mandela, Nelson Mandela' Daughter]
"I think it's a very beautiful gift to me right now and to anybody else who would be reading the book. I came across a letter that he wrote to me, that I obviously didn't get, where he was analysing my poetry and so on. It was such a, you know it was very touching, it was quite emotional."

The book shows Mandela making notes and even doodling during meetings, as well as recording troubled dreams on the desk calendar of his cell wall on Robben Island, where he spent eighteen years behind bars.

Former Robben Island prisoner Ahmed Kathrada presented a finished copy of the book to Mandela.

[Ahmed Kathrada, Former Robben Island Prisoner]
"The country and the world is going to listen and read about what you say in your own words, and not what other people are saying what you are saying. So through the letters, through the interviews, through the calendar, through your notebooks, everything is in your own words. So it's unprecedented and unique in that sense."

With a forward by U.S. President Barack Obama, 'Conversations with Myself' is an intimate journey from the first stirring of Mandela's political consciousness to his galvanising role on the world stage.

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