`READ EBOOK ⇮ Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Made a Nation ☜ PDF eBook or Kindle ePUB free

Carlin quotes 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 who united blacks and whites in that previously apartheid country To have that question answered was one reason I read this book aside from having it selected in a book group I knew of Nelson Mandela s success i but I knew little of how he accomplished this feat so the book was compellingly instructive in that way Carlin is a journalist, though, not a historian so it s not the book to find a lot of subtext to the history of South Africa and the legacy of Mandela in the twenty years since he left office A reader may well have unanswered questions about that, or how Mandela s values changed over nearly three decades in prison But what Carlin concentrates on he does well He concentrates on Mandela s actions after he was released from prison in l990 Mandela came to realize that change in South Africa would not be worth the bloodshed and upheaval brought on by civil war between blacks and whites, and a class struggle between poor and rich As a leader he was in a position to to influence the direction the country would go, and he moved it toward a peaceful end to apartheid Of course leaders on the other side saw no point either destroying the country through violence, so there was some tentative common ground between the opponents A war was stopped, but that certainly didn t mean that there was a state of harmony and peace in South Africa Both Mandela and opposition leaders had a lot of different factions to deal with in their own camps, and there were plenty of false steps that could have proved disastrous Some black leaders saw a weakness in Mandela that proved to be one of his strengths He had a tendency to trust people too much, but that was because he saw good in people Most people lack this capacity and are prone to find enemies beyond redemption But because Mandela had this capacity, Carlin writes, he charmed people, making them feel significant and important, always being ready to listen to their viewpoint Grudgingly they began to respect his views Mandela originally knew little and cared less, about rugby, a passion among the Afrikaner Dutch descended South Africans There were many protests against international matches with South Africa so when Mandela met members of the team, he applied his usual charm, but as always, his charm served his own ends People like winners, but the success of the South African team was plagued by boycotts due to the apartheid policies of its country Mandela began to suggest that the team could play for something bigger than themselves, the idea of a genuinely united nation As a black leader, he would begin to move backs to support the team and have the boycotts lifted It worked with both sides gaining something It all came together in a climactic match between South Africa and New Zealand, won by the South African team, and improbable as it sounds, sports had begun to unite a bitterly divided country People actually began to realize that they had in common than what divided them As an inspirational story of an unlikely event, Carlin s book is a success. 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 person, one vote elections the country had ever had Tensions were simmering just barely under the surface, not infrequently erupting into violent neighborhood rallies, bloody skirmishes, and even assassination Many of the white Afrikaner minority were worried about reprisals from the black majority, some of whom were undoubtedly eager for revenge or at least eager to see whites put in their place after so long in power Extremist elements from both ends of the spectrum were arming themselves for what they deemed the inevitable civil war that would come Even among the moderate South Africans, doubts that a lasting peaceful government could be forged ran rampant.And then there was Nelson Mandela.Almost three decades of incarceration might be expected to have a hardening effect on a person, particularly when the initial conviction was unjust However, Nelson Mandela used his time in prison to come to understand his adversary He learned to speak Afrikaans, studied Afrikaner history, developed friendships with his Afrikaner jailors, and continued to reach out to the government leaders who had put him in prison Eventually, this approach not only secured his release from jail and his election to the presidency, but also set his country on a path toward equality and reconciliation In the midst of this time of upheaval and radical change, South Africa was also preparing to host the 1995 Rugby World Cup Rugby, for those who are as unfamiliar with the sport as I am, is sort of a cross between soccer and American football, but without any pads to cushion the ferocious impacts Mr Carlin explains the Afrikaner passion for rugby as the closest they got, outside church, to a spiritual life and Mr Mandela himself once described it as a religion for Afrikaners The black South Africans generally viewed the gold and green uniforms of the Springboks, along with the old national flag and national anthem, as a symbol of the oppression they had suffered under decades of apartheid For years, they had cheered for whatever team the Springboks were playing against, urging a global boycott on South African rugby while apartheid was still law And then Mr Mandela determined that the best possible use for the sport of rugby is as an instrument of political persuasion and reconciliation To this end, Mr Mandela worked with the disparate elements of South Africa, tirelessly lobbying, inspiring, charming, persuading and cajoling Xhosa, Zulu, English and Afrikaners alike into supporting the Springboks and his vision of South African unity One Team, One Country He encouraged the vengeful anti apartheid activists to soften their stance against the symbols they loathed and to give the country a chance to come together He convinced General Constand Viljoen, the former overall commander of the South African Defense Force who led a right wing group determined to take up arms against the new government, to stand down and renounce war He motivated the almost completely Afrikaner rugby team to learn the Xhosa words to the new national anthem Nkosi Sikelele and sing it and the old national anthem with equal gusto before each match during the tournament In a triumphant ending worthy of a Hollywood film which, as a matter of fact, it now is , the underdog Springboks defeated the heavily favored New Zealand All Blacks to win the World Cup and the entire country celebrated rapturously, regardless of color As Archbishop Desmond Tutu explained, That match did for us what speeches of politicians or archbishops could not do It galvanized us, it made us realize that it was actually possible for us to be on the same side It said it is actually possible for us to become one nation Mr Mandela s optimism, charisma, and determination to engage all South Africans in the process of peace and justice prevailed against the fear and suspicions so prevalent at this turbulent time And the sport of rugby was his instrument of choice in this extraordinary reconciliation.For book reviews, come visit my blog, Build Enough Bookshelves. 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 old as I sat with my dad, all nerves and raw emotion, watching the game The joy that erupted in the streets after we won is a sight I will never forget The whole country, black and white, celebrating together It was something like the Rio carnival for days on end The new South Africa in action Reading about the events that went on behind at the scenes leading up to this day and our incredible champion Nelson Mandela made me proud than ever to be a South African The whole story just sounds far too good to be true, but the best part is that it is true I hope that we can inspire our next generation to get this rainbow nation to fulfill the incredible potential we have to become even greater. 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 a new perspective on the attitudes pre Mandela It shows the vision that Mandela had of sport as a unifier, the chances that he took, and the dramatic changes that took place in the blink of an eye, politically speaking I ll be interested to see if they capture half of the impact in the Morgan Freeman Matt Damon Clint Eastwood version that is coming out later this year If they re smart they ll incorporate documentary footage, like van Sant did with Milk I m not sure there s any way to capture this emotion through staged scenes. 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 Mandela s 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 quarter 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. 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 something.I 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. Invictus Out of the night that covers me,Black as the Pit from pole to pole,I thank whatever gods may beFor my unconquerable soul.In the fell clutch of circumstanceI have not winced nor cried aloud.Under the bludgeonings of chanceMy head is bloody, but unbowed.Beyond this place of wrath and tearsLooms but the Horror of the shade,And yet the menace of the yearsFinds, and shall find, me unafraid.It matters not how strait the gate,How charged with punishments the scroll.I am the master of my fate I am the captain of my soul. William Ernest Henley 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 the experts proclaimed was inevitable then read this book If you want to know about rugby and the game then don t read this book This book is a paean to Nelson Mandela, who was truly the right man at the right time in the right place Mandela makes Clinton and Reagan look like lightweights with his ability to charm,rebound, and chart the right course at critical decision points He completely disarmed his jailers and the Afrikaner culture with not only his political savvy but his humanity I m looking forward to seeing the movie now and reading about Mandela. Nelson Mandela is my hero Rugby is my game I m from the South Wales valleys, nuff said Simply the best book I ve read all year, it was absolutely awesome Mandela s methods for disarming and charming everyone were inspirational this is the only inspirational book I ve read I can t get into that genre at all I ve just been chucked out without notice from a private group Back in Skinny Jeans on Goodreads where some member s don t like non Americans, non Republicans, non Christians and perhaps non Whites and really wanted me to know their views I fit it into all those groups, so did Mandela He would have disarmed them and made them think again, he had a way of bringing out the most decent parts of even despicable people I don t have his charisma, but following the lessons he developed transforming himself from an advocate of violence to one of reconcilliation, I may become a better person. `READ EBOOK ⇯ Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Made a Nation ⇢ A Thrilling, Inspiring Account Of One Of The Greatest Charm Offensives In History Nelson Mandela S Decade Long Campaign To Unite His Country, Beginning In His Jail Cell And Ending With A Rugby TournamentIn , Nelson Mandela, Then In Prison For Twenty Three Years, Set About Winning Over The Fiercest Proponents Of Apartheid, From His Jailers To The Head Of South Africa S Military First He Earned His Freedom And Then He Won The Presidency In The Nation S First Free Election In But He Knew That South Africa Was Still Dangerously Divided By Almost Fifty Years Of Apartheid If He Couldn T Unite His Country In A Visceral, Emotional Way And Fast It Would Collapse Into Chaos He Would Need All The Charisma And Strategic Acumen He Had Honed During Half A Century Of Activism, And He D Need A Cause All South Africans Could Share Mandela Picked One Of The Farfetched Causes Imaginable The National Rugby Team, The Springboks, Who Would Host The Sport S World Cup In Against The Giants Of The Sport, The Springboks Chances Of Victory Were Remote But Their Chances Of Capturing The Hearts Of Most South Africans Seemed Remoter Still, As They Had Long Been The Embodiment Of White Supremacist Rule During Apartheid, The All White Springboks And Their Fans Had Belted Out Racist Fight Songs, And Blacks Would Come To Springbok Matches To Cheer For Whatever Team Was Playing Against Them Yet Mandela Believed That The Springboks Could Embody And Engage The New South Africa And The Springboks Themselves Embraced The Scheme Soon South African TV Would Carry Images Of The Team Singing Nkosi Sikelele Afrika, The Longtime Anthem Of Black Resistance To ApartheidAs Their Surprising String Of Victories Lengthened, Their Home Field Advantage Grew Exponentially South Africans Of Every Color And Political Stripe Found Themselves Falling For The Team When The Springboks Took To The Field For The Championship Match Against New Zealand S Heavily Favored Squad, Mandela Sat In His Presidential Box Wearing A Springbok Jersey While Sixty Two Thousand Fans, Mostly White, Chanted Nelson Nelson Millions Gathered Around Their TV Sets, Whether In Dusty Black Townships Or Leafy White Suburbs, To Urge Their Team Toward Victory The Springboks Won A Nail Biter That Day, Defying The Oddsmakers And Capping Mandela S Miraculous Ten Year Long Effort To Bring Forty Three Million South Africans Together In An Enduring BondJohn Carlin, A Former South Africa Bureau Chief For The London Independent, Offers A Singular Portrait Of The Greatest Statesman Of Our Time In Action, Blending The Volatile Cocktail Of Race, Sport, And Politics To Intoxicating Effect He Draws On Extensive Interviews With Mandela, Desmond Tutu, And Dozens Of Other South Africans Caught Up In Mandela S Momentous Campaign, And The Springboks Unlikely Triumph As He Makes Stirringly Clear, Their Championship Transcended The Mere Thrill Of Victory To Erase Ancient Hatreds And Make A Nation Whole