The critics on Young Mandela

The Times – Ian Finlayson

Mandela himself has played down claims that he is a saint and, indeed, he has not always been regarded as a paragon of virtue by opponents — Margaret Thatcher regarded him pretty much as a terrorist. In this respectfully revisionist biography, dealing with the years before Mandela’s imprisonment in 1964, Smith is candid — at Mandela’s own behest, he says — about the effects of early poverty on his political attitudes, about the young Mandela‘s decision to choose political activism over duty to his wives and children, and about his relationships with white activists, which even now the ANC plays down in its history of the struggle against apartheid.


Latest News

  • The Sleep Of Reason – The James Bulger Case by David James Smith:
    Faber Finds edition with new preface, available September 15th, 2011.

  • Young Mandela the movie – in development.

    From The Guardian
    Read the article

    In the Diary column of The Independent, April 13th, 2011

    More on my previously unsubstantiated claim that the writer-director Peter Kosminsky, creator of The Promise, is working on a drama about Nelson Mandela. I’ve now learnt that the project is a feature film, in development with Film 4, about the young Mandela. Kosminsky is currently at work on the script and, given the complaints about the anti-Jewish bias of The Promise, it is unlikely to be a standard bland portrait of the former South African president.

Latest Review

    New York Times – J. M. Ledgard
  • Nelson Mandela was circumcised as a 16-year-old boy alongside a flowing river in the Eastern Cape. The ceremony was similar to those of other Bantu peoples. An elder moved through the line making ring-like cuts, and foreskins fell away. The boys could not so much as blink; it was a rite of passage that took you beyond pain. read full review

See David James Smith…

Jon Venables: What Went Wrong
BBC 1, 10.35
Thursday, April 21st, 2011