Higher Than Hope: The Biography Of Nelson Mandela

A South African sociologist who is also a Mandela family friend offers an uneven but interesting portrait of South Africa's preeminent black leader. Strongest on details about Mandela's childhood in the rural Transkei and his relationship with wife and children, Meer's account shows the man quite fully but blurs the political role. What comes through most clearly is how far the years of virtual isolation and continuing political commitment appear to have intensified the human warmth of husband, father and friend.

Latest Commentary & News analysis