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These are memoirs of a great moral and political figure, an international hero whose lifelong dedication to the fight against racial oppression in South Africa won him the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize and the presidency of his country. 'Long Walk to Freedom' is his exhilarating story. Mandela recounts his youth, as the foster son of a Thembu chief, raised in the traditional tribal culture of his ancestors as he grew to learn the inescapable reality of apartheid oppression. He tells of his early years as an impoverished student and law clerk in Johannesburg and of his slow political awakening. He also describes his personal struggles at that time of having to reconcile his political activity with family, the anguished breakup of his first marriage, and the painful separation from his children. The escalating political warfare in the 1950s between the ANC and the government is vividly brought to life, culminating in Mandela's 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 27 years in prison and the complex negotiation which led to both his freedom and to the beginning of apartheid's end.