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  1. 10.0 hrs • 8/16/2016 • Unabridged

    “Julius can’t remember who first saw the men. He heard no warning sounds—no dog barking or twig snapping. Until this point, events had moved too swiftly for Julius to be afraid, but now panic seized him. In another instant, he realized that his old life was finished.” Thus begins the extraordinary odyssey of Julius Achon, a journey that takes a barefoot twelve-year-old boy from a village in northern Uganda to the rebel camp of the notorious Lord’s Resistance Army, where he was made a boy soldier, and then, miraculously, to a career as one of the world’s foremost middle-distance runners. But when a devastating tragedy prevents Julius from pursuing the gold at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, he is once again set adrift and forced to forge a new path for himself, finally finding his true calling as an internationally recognized humanitarian. Today, Julius is the director of the Achon Uganda Children’s Fund, a charity whose mission is to improve the quality of life in rural Uganda through access to healthcare, education, and athletics. While pursuing his destiny, Julius encounters a range of unforgettable characters who variously befriend and betray him: the demonic Joseph Kony, a “world-class warlord”; John Cook, a brilliant and eccentric U.S. track coach; Jim Fee, an American businessman who helps Julius build a state-of-the-art medical center deep in the Ugandan bush; and finally Kristina, Julius’s mother, whose own tragic journey forms the pivot for this spellbinding narrative of love, loss, suffering, and redemption. Written by award-winning sportswriter John Brant, The Boy Who Runs is an empowering tale of obstacles overcome, challenges met, and light wrested from darkness. It’s a story about forging your true path and finding your higher purpose—even when the road ahead bends in unexpected directions.

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    The Boy Who Runs

    10.0 hrs • 8/16/16 • Unabridged
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  2. 19.3 hrs • 8/9/2016 • Unabridged

    Justine van der Leun reopens the murder of a young American woman in South Africa, an iconic case that calls into question our understanding of truth and reconciliation, loyalty, justice, race, and class. The story of Amy Biehl is well known in South Africa. The twenty-six-year-old white American Fulbright scholar was brutally murdered on August 25, 1993, during the final, fiery days of apartheid by a mob of young black men in a township outside Cape Town. Her parents’ forgiveness of two of her killers became a symbol of the truth and reconciliation process in South Africa. Justine van der Leun decided to introduce the story to an American audience. But as she delved into the case, the prevailing narrative started to unravel. Why didn’t the eyewitness reports agree on who killed Amy Biehl? Were the men convicted of the murder actually responsible for her death? And then Van der Leun discovered another brutal crime committed on the same day, in the very same area. The true story of Amy Biehl’s death, it turned out, was not only a story of forgiveness but also a reflection of the complicated history of a troubled country. We Are Not Such Things is the result of Van der Leun’s four-year investigation into this strange, knotted tale of injustice, violence, and compassion. The bizarre twists and turns of this case and its aftermath—and the story that emerges of what happened on that fateful day in 1993 and in the decades that followed—come together in an unsparing account of life in South Africa today. Van der Leun immerses herself in the lives of her subjects and paints a stark, moving portrait of a township and its residents. We come to understand that the issues at the heart of her investigation are universal in scope and powerful in resonance. We Are Not Such Things reveals how reconciliation is impossible without an acknowledgment of the past, a lesson as relevant to America today as to a South Africa still struggling with the long shadow of its history.

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    We Are Not Such Things by Justine van der Leun

    We Are Not Such Things

    19.3 hrs • 8/9/16 • Unabridged
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  3. 18.4 hrs • 11/2/2015 • Unabridged

    David Lamb, critically-acclaimed author of The Arabs, spent four years in Africa as a news correspondent, traveling through forty-eight of its countries. Written in 1983, The Africans is a remarkable and very personal commentary on the people of this vast continent. It offers colorful, close-up views of presidents, peasants, guerilla leaders, and merchants while tracing a vivid history of one of the most varied populations on earth. Everyone interested in world cultures will find The Africans a fascinating experience.

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    The Africans

    18.4 hrs • 11/2/15 • Unabridged
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  4. 9.2 hrs • 8/20/2015 • Unabridged

    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 together. After being released from prison and winning South Africa’s first free election, 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 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 bond.

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    Invictus

    9.2 hrs • 8/20/15 • Unabridged
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  5. 13.5 hrs • 4/7/2015 • Unabridged

    A gripping work of reportage that, for the first time, tells the story of “Chucky” Taylor, a young American who lost his soul in Liberia, the country where his African father was a ruthless warlord and dictator Chucky Taylor was in many ways an average American kid. Growing up in Florida, he had friends, a high school sweetheart, and some brushes with the law. But then, in 1992, at age fifteen, he traveled to Liberia to meet his estranged father, Charles Taylor—the warlord and future president of Liberia. Adrift in a strange, underdeveloped country, Chucky became the commander of the infamous Anti-Terrorist Unit, aka “Demon Forces.” Suddenly powerful amidst the lawlessness of his father’s rule, any semblance of morality vanished. The savagery and pointlessness of his crimes shocked even his brutal father. Fleeing Liberia as his father’s government fell, Chucky was caught sneaking into the United States and became the first American convicted of the war crime of torture. Now Johnny Dwyer’s deeply researched book tells not just the riveting story of Chucky Taylor and his family but also of Liberia, a nation which only recently has found reason to hope for the future.

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    American Warlord

    13.5 hrs • 4/7/15 • Unabridged
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  6. 5.8 hrs • 2/3/2015 • Unabridged

    International human rights activist Lisa Shannon spent many afternoons at the kitchen table having tea with her friend Francisca Thelin, who often spoke of her childhood in Congo. Thelin would conjure vivid images of lush flower gardens, fish the size of small children, and of children running barefoot through her family’s coffee plantation, gorging themselves on fruit from the robust and plentiful mango trees. She urged Shannon to visit her family in Dungu to get a taste of real Congo, peaceful Congo, a place so different from the conflict-ravaged lands Shannon knew from her work as an activist. But then the nightly phone calls from Congo began: hasty, static-filled reports from Francisca’s mother of gunmen from Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army, which had infested Dungu and began launching attacks. Night after night for a year, “Mama Koko” delivered the devastating news of Francisca’s cousins, nieces, nephews, friends, and neighbors, who had been killed, abducted, burned alive on Christmas Day. In an unlikely journey, Shannon and Thelin decided to travel from Portland, Oregon, to Dungu to witness firsthand the devastation unfolding at Kony’s hands. Masquerading as Francisca’s American sister-in-law, Shannon tucked herself into Mama Koko’s raw cement living room and listened to the stories of Mama Koko and her husband, Papa Alexander, as well as those from dozens of other friends and neighbors—“Mama Koko’s War Tribunal”—who lined up outside the house and waited for hours, eager to offer their testimony. In Mama Koko and the Hundred Gunmen, Shannon weaves together the family’s tragic stories of LRA encounters with tales from the family’s history: Mama Koko’s early life as a gap-toothed beauty plotting to escape her inevitable fate of wife and motherhood; Papa Alexander’s empire of wives he married because they cooked and cleaned and made good coffee; and Francisca’s childhood at the family “castle” and coffee plantation. These lively stories transport Shannon from the chaos of the violence around her and bring to life Francisca’s kitchen-table stories of the peaceful Congo. But as the LRA camp out on the edge of town grew, tensions inside the house reached a fever pitch, and Shannon and Thelin’s friendship was fiercely tested. Shannon was forced to confront her limitations as an activist and reconcile her vision of what it means to effect meaningful change in the lives of others. Mama Koko and the Hundred Gunmen is at once an illuminating piece of storytelling and an exploration of what it means to truly make a difference. It is an exquisite testimony to the beauty of human connection and the strength of the human spirit in times of unimaginable tragedy.

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    Mama Koko and the Hundred Gunmen by Lisa J. Shannon

    Mama Koko and the Hundred Gunmen

    5.8 hrs • 2/3/15 • Unabridged
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  7. 14.2 hrs • 7/15/2014 • Unabridged

    A white Afrikaner, Zelda la Grange grew up in segregated South Africa, supporting the regime and the rules of apartheid. Her conservative family referred to the imprisoned Nelson Mandela as “a terrorist.” Yet just a few years after his release and the end of apartheid, she would be traveling the world by Mr. Mandela’s side, having grown to respect and cherish the man she would come to call “Khulu,” or “grandfather.” Good Morning, Mr. Mandela tells the extraordinary story of how a young woman’s life, beliefs, prejudices—everything she once believed—were utterly transformed by the man she had been taught was the enemy. It is the incredible journey of an awkward, terrified young secretary in her twenties who rose from a job in a government typing pool to become one of the president’s most loyal and devoted associates. During his presidency she was one of his three private secretaries, and then became an aide-de-camp and spokesperson and managed his office in his retirement. Working and traveling by his side for almost two decades, la Grange found herself negotiating with celebrities and world leaders, all in the cause of supporting and caring for Mr. Mandela in his many roles. Here la Grange pays tribute to Nelson Mandela as she knew him—a teacher who gave her the most valuable lessons of her life. The Mr. Mandela we meet in these pages is a man who refused to be defined by his past, who forgave and respected all, but who was also frank, teasing, and direct. As he renewed his country, he also freed la Grange from a closed world of fear and mistrust, giving her life true meaning. “I was fearful of so much twenty years ago—of life, of black people, of this black man and the future of South Africa—and I now was no longer persuaded or influenced by mainstream fears. He not only liberated the black man but the white man, too.” This is a book about love and second chances that honors the lasting and inspiring gifts of one of the great men of our time. It offers a rare intimate portrait of Nelson Mandela and his remarkable life as well as moving proof of the power we all have to change.

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    Good Morning, Mr. Mandela

    14.2 hrs • 7/15/14 • Unabridged
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  8. 1.3 hrs • 2/19/2014 • Unabridged

    Recognized as one of the most comprehensive oral histories of apartheid ever broadcast, Mandela: An Audio History tells the story of the struggle against apartheid through rare sound recordings. The series weaves together more than fifty first-person interviews with an unprecedented collection of archival sound: a rare recording of the 1964 trial that resulted in Mandela’s life sentence; a visit between Mandela and his family secretly taped by a prison guard; marching songs of guerilla soldiers; government propaganda films; and pirate radio broadcasts from the African National Congress. Once thought lost forever, Radio Diaries producer Joe Richman unearthed a treasure trove of these historic recordings in the basement archive of the South African Broadcasting Corporation. Ultimately, over fifty hours of archival recordings and many more hours of contemporary interviews with the living witnesses to South Africa’s turbulent history have gone into the creation of one of the most moving audio documentaries ever produced.

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    Mandela: An Audio History

    Produced by Radio Diaries
    Hosted by Desmond Tutu
    Commentary by Nelson Mandela
    1.3 hrs • 2/19/14 • Unabridged
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  9. 17.6 hrs • 10/8/2013 • Unabridged

    In early November 1834, an aristocratic young couple from Savannah and South Carolina sailed from New York and began a seventeen-year odyssey in West Africa. Leighton and Jane Wilson sailed along what was for them an exotic coastline, visited cities and villages, and sometimes ventured up great rivers and followed ancient paths. Along the way they encountered not only many diverse landscapes, peoples, and cultures but also many individuals on their own odysseys—including Paul Sansay, a former slave from Savannah; Mworeh Mah, a brilliant Grebo leader, and his beautiful daughter, Mary Clealand; and the wise and humorous Toko in Gabon. Leighton and Jane Wilson had freed their inherited slaves and were to become the most influential American missionaries in West Africa during the first half of the nineteenth century. While Jane established schools, Leighton fought the international slave trade and the imperialism of colonization. He translated portions of the Bible into Grebo and Mpongwe and thereby helped to lay the foundation for the emergence of an indigenous African Christianity. The Wilsons returned to New York because of ill health, but their odyssey was not over. Living in the booming American metropolis, the Wilsons welcomed into their handsome home visitors from around the world as they worked for the rapidly expanding Protestant mission movement. As the Civil War approached, however, they heard the siren voice of their Southern homeland calling from deep within their memories. They sought to resist its seductions, but the call became more insistent and, finally, irresistible. In spite of their years of fighting slavery, they gave themselves to a history and a people committed to maintaining slavery and its deep oppression—both an act of deep love for a place and people and the desertion of a moral vision. A sweeping transatlantic story of good intentions and bitter consequences, By the Rivers of Water reveals two distant worlds linked by deep faiths.

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    By the Rivers of Water by Erskine Clarke

    By the Rivers of Water

    17.6 hrs • 10/8/13 • Unabridged
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  10. 7.8 hrs • 9/10/2013 • Unabridged

    A powerful portrayal of Jeffrey Sachs’ ambitious quest to end global poverty “The poor you will always have with you,” to cite the Gospel of Matthew 26:11. Jeffrey Sachs—celebrated economist, special advisor to the Secretary General of the United Nations, and author of the influential bestseller The End of Poverty—disagrees. In his view, poverty is a problem that can be solved. With single-minded determination he has attempted to put into practice his theories about ending extreme poverty, to prove that the world’s most destitute people can be lifted onto “the ladder of development.” In 2006, Sachs launched the Millennium Villages Project, a daring five-year experiment designed to test his theories in Africa. The first Millennium village was in Sauri, a remote cluster of farming communities in western Kenya. The initial results were encouraging. With his first taste of success, and backed by one 120-million dollars from George Soros and other like-minded donors, Sachs rolled out a dozen model villages in ten sub-Saharan countries. Once his approach was validated it would be scaled up across the entire continent. At least that was the idea. For the past six years, Nina Munk has reported deeply on the Millennium Villages Project, accompanying Sachs on his official trips to Africa and listening in on conversations with heads-of-state, humanitarian organizations, rival economists, and development experts. She has immersed herself in the lives of people in two Millennium villages: Ruhiira, in southwest Uganda, and Dertu, in the arid borderland between Kenya and Somalia. Accepting the hospitality of camel herders and small-hold farmers, and witnessing their struggle to survive, Munk came to understand the real-life issues that challenge Sachs’s formula for ending global poverty. The Idealist is the profound and moving story of what happens when the abstract theories of a brilliant, driven man meet the reality of human life.

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    The Idealist

    7.8 hrs • 9/10/13 • Unabridged
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  11. 8.2 hrs • 5/16/2013 • Unabridged

    “One day I will tell you the story of my life,” promises Emma Brockes’s mother, “and you will be amazed.” Despite her mother’s tales of a rustic childhood in South Africa and bohemian years in London, Brockes grew up knowing that some crucial pieces of the past were left unspoken. A mystery to her friends and family, Brockes’ mother, Paula, was glamorous, no-nonsense, and totally out of place in their quaint English village. What compelled her to emigrate to England was never explained, nor what empowered her tremendous strengths and strange fears. Looking to unearth the truth after Paula’s death, Brockes begins a dangerous journey into the land, and life, her mother fled years before. She Left Me the Gun: My Mother’s Life Before Me is a tale of true transformation, the story of a young woman who reinvented herself so completely that her previous life seemed to simply vanish, and of a daughter who transcends her mother’s fears and reclaims an abandoned past. Brockes soon learns Paula’s father was a drunk megalomaniac who terrorized Paula and her seven half-siblings for years. He is ultimately taken to court and vindicated of all charges, but not before Paula shoots him five times, and fails to kill him. She books passage to London, never to return. She Left Me the Gun carries Brockes to South Africa to meet her seven aunts and uncles, to weigh their stories against her mother’s silences, and to understand one of the world’s most beautiful yet bloody countries. Brockes learns of the violent pathologies and racial propaganda in which her grandfather was inculcated, sees the mine shafts and train yards where he worked as an itinerant mechanic, and finds buried in government archives the startling court records that prove he was secretly imprisoned for murder years before he first married. An extraordinary work of psychological suspense and forensic memoir, She Left Me the Gun chronicles Brockes’ efforts to walk the knife edge between understanding her mother’s unspeakable traumas and embracing the happiness she chose for herself and her daughter.

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    She Left Me the Gun

    8.2 hrs • 5/16/13 • Unabridged
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  12. 1 reviews 0 5 3.5 3 out of 5 stars 3.5/5 (1)
    26.1 hrs • 4/16/2013 • Unabridged

    The liberation of Europe and the destruction of the Third Reich is a story of courage and enduring triumph, of calamity and miscalculation. In this first volume of the Liberation Trilogy, Rick Atkinson shows why no modern reader can understand the ultimate victory of the Allied powers without a grasp of the great drama that unfolded in North Africa in 1942 and 1943. That first year of the Allied war was a pivotal point in American history, the moment when the United States began to act like a great power. Beginning with the daring amphibious invasion in November 1942, An Army at Dawn follows the American and British armies as they fight the French in Morocco and Algeria, and then take on the Germans and Italians in Tunisia. Battle by battle, an inexperienced and sometimes poorly led army gradually becomes a superb fighting force. Central to the tale are the extraordinary but fallible commanders who come to dominate the battlefield: Eisenhower, Patton, Bradley, Montgomery, and Rommel. Brilliantly researched, rich with new material and vivid insights, Atkinson’s narrative provides the definitive history of the war in North Africa.

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    An Army at Dawn

    26.1 hrs • 4/16/13 • Unabridged
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  13. 10.6 hrs • 3/12/2013 • Unabridged

    The unbelievably riveting adventure of an unlikely young explorer who emerged from the jungles of Africa with evidence of a mysterious, still mythical beast—the gorilla—only to stumble straight into the center of the biggest debate of the day: Darwin’s theory of evolution In 1856 Paul du Chaillu marched into the equatorial wilderness of West Africa determined to bag an animal that, according to legend, was nothing short of a monster. When he emerged three years later, the summation of his efforts only hinted at what he’d experienced in one of the most dangerous regions on earth. Armed with an astonishing collection of zoological specimens, du Chaillu leapt from the physical challenges of the jungle straight into the center of the biggest issues of the time—the evolution debate, racial discourse, the growth of Christian fundamentalism—and helped push each to unprecedented intensities. He experienced instant celebrity, but with that fame came whispers—about his past, his credibility, and his very identity—which would haunt the young man.  Grand in scope, immediate in detail, and propulsively readable, Between Man and Beast brilliantly combines du Chaillu’s personal journey with the epic tale of a world hovering on the sharp edge of transformation.

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    Between Man and Beast

    10.6 hrs • 3/12/13 • Unabridged
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  14. 9.3 hrs • 10/11/2012 • Unabridged

    From the legendary author of Things Fall Apart comes a long-awaited memoir about coming of age with a fragile new nation—then watching it torn asunder in a tragic civil warThe defining experience of Chinua Achebe’s life was the Nigerian civil war, also known as the Biafran War, of 1967–1970. The conflict was infamous for its savage impact on the Biafran people, Chinua Achebe’s people, many of whom were starved to death after the Nigerian government blockaded their borders. By then, Chinua Achebe was already a world-renowned novelist with a young family to protect. He took the Biafran side in the conflict and served his government as a roving cultural ambassador, from which vantage he absorbed the war’s full horror. Immediately after the war, Achebe took refuge in an academic post in the United States. For more than forty years, he has maintained a silence on the events of those terrible years, addressing them only obliquely through his poetry. Now, decades in the making, comes a towering reckoning with one of modern Africa’s most fateful events—from a writer whose words and courage have left an enduring stamp on world literature. Marrying history and memoir, poetry and prose, There Was a Country is a distillation of vivid firsthand observation and forty years of research and reflection. Wise, humane, and authoritative, it will stand as definitive and reinforce Achebe’s place as one of the most vital literary and moral voices of our age.

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    There Was a Country

    9.3 hrs • 10/11/12 • Unabridged
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  15. 15.9 hrs • 9/1/2012 • Unabridged

    This riveting history is a firsthand account of the long and arduous search for one of the greatest explorers of the nineteenth century. Journalist and adventurer Henry M. Stanley was known for his search for the legendary David Livingstone, and their eventual meeting led to the popular quotation “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?” A real-life adventure story, How I Found Livingstone in Central Africa tells of the incredible hardships—disease, hostile natives, tribal warfare, impenetrable jungles, and other obstacles—faced by a daring explorer. This must-have account also includes a wealth of information on various African peoples.

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    How I Found Livingstone in Central Africa by Henry M. Stanley

    How I Found Livingstone in Central Africa

    15.9 hrs • 9/1/12 • Unabridged
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  16. 27.6 hrs • 7/15/2012 • Unabridged

    Nelson Mandela is one of the great moral and political leaders of our time—an international hero whose lifelong dedication to the fight against racial oppression in South Africa won him the Nobel Peace Prize and the presidency of his country. Since his triumphant release in 1990 from more than a quarter-century of imprisonment, Mandela has been at the center of the most compelling and inspiring political drama in the world. As president of the African National Congress and head of South Africa’s antiapartheid movement, he was instrumental in moving the nation toward multiracial government and majority rule. He is revered everywhere as a vital force in the fight for human rights and racial equality. The foster son of a Thembu chief, Mandela was raised in the traditional, tribal culture of his ancestors, but at an early age he learned the modern, inescapable reality of what came to be called apartheid, one of the most powerful and effective systems of oppression ever conceived. In classically elegant and engrossing prose, Mandela tells of his early years as an impoverished student and law clerk in Johannesburg, of his slow political awakening, and of his pivotal role in the rebirth of a stagnant ANC and the formation of its Youth League in the 1950s. He describes the struggle to reconcile his political activity with his devotion to his family, the anguished breakup of his first marriage, and the painful separations from his children. He brings vividly to life the escalating political warfare in the fifties between the ANC and the government, culminating in his dramatic escapades as an underground leader and the notorious Rivonia Trial of 1964, at which he was sentenced to life imprisonment. He recounts the surprisingly eventful twenty-seven years in prison and the complex, delicate negotiations that led both to his freedom and to the beginning of the end of apartheid.

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    Long Walk to Freedom

    Afterword by Sharon Gelman
    27.6 hrs • 7/15/12 • Unabridged
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