Nelson Mandela is the greatest political figure of our age and is universally known as a heroic leader who symbolises freedom and moral authority. He will soon be 90 years old and is fixed in the public mind as the world's elder statesman - the dignified, grey-haired man with a kindly smile who spent 27 years in prison from 1962 and somehow emerged intact to become the first black President of a newly liberated South Africa. But Nelson Mandela was not always elderly or benign. This book is about the man that people have forgotten - Young Mandela, the committed terrorist who left his wife and children behind to spend a year living on the run in the racist South Africa of the early 1960s, adopting false names and disguises and sleeping in safe houses as he organised and prepared the first strikes in a campaign of violence to overthrow the apartheid state. The book takes this momentous year - the culmination of Mandela's early career and the events that led directly to his long imprisonment - and retells the story with fresh and fine detail. Using the drama of these final months of freedom as a framework, the book re-examines the journey of his formative years and recreates the South Africa of the 'winds of change' era. David James Smith's biography graphically describes how a public hero sometimes leaves private turmoil in his wake.
David James Smith was born in 1956 and has been a journalist all his working life. He writes for the SUNDAY TIMES MAGAZINE.