Nelson Mandela, R.I.P.

F&O has updated our listing of our original writing, and selected videos and readings, following Nelson Mandela’s death on December 5.

Behind Houghton Walls, a poem reflecting on Mandela’s last days by Iain T. Benson, a professor in South Africa, is published in Commentary.

Facts and Opinions is pleased to publish Learning from Mandela, an essay about Mandela’s role as “a truly global icon,” by professor and author Heribert Adam.

International affairs columnist Jonathan Manthorpe analyzes Nelson Mandela’s impact on South Africa.

READ AND WATCH ELSEWHERE: Mandela’s own words, Barack Obama’s eulogy, Nadine Gordimer on the loss of her friend, and the perspectives of Slavoj Žižek and Musa Okowonga.

Excerpts of Mandela’s acceptance speech for the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize:

“Let it never be said by future generations that indifference, cynicism or selfishness made us fail to live up to the ideals of humanism which the Nobel Peace Prize encapsulates.

“Let the strivings of us all, prove Martin Luther King Jr. to have been correct, when he said that humanity can no longer be tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war.

“Let the efforts of us all, prove that he was not a mere dreamer when he spoke of the beauty of genuine brotherhood and peace being more precious than diamonds or silver or gold.

“Let a new age dawn!”

“Our nation has lost its greatest son,” said South African President Jacob Zuma. A statement from Nelson Mandela’s charities said, “No words can adequately describe this enormous loss to our nation and to the world.”

Mandela’s book Conversations with Myself, with a foreward by Barack Obama, was published in 2010.

Mandela’s comments on being freed from prison:


Below is Mandela’s retirement address, on behalf of his charitable foundations:

 No Easy Walk to Freedom was composed by South African writer and musician Roger Lucey, in 1984:

United States President Barack Obama’s eulogy for Nelson Mandela:

 Post updated December 12, 2013

Recommended readings:

My Countryman, by Nadine Gordimer in The New Yorker
A Nelson Mandela tribute site, in South Africa’s Mail and Guardian newspaper
Al Jazeera: Mandela remembered in the rain and mud South Africa’s urban poor reflect on Mandela’s death, political exclusion and the burden of a failing economy.
New York Times report: The Great and the Humble Pay Tribute to Mandela
Der Spiegel photo gallery: “Africa mourns its “Greatest Son.”
Nelson Mandela’s charitable foundations
Bill Keller’s long feature and obituary in The New York Times
Reuters obituary
BBC report:
Stephanie Nolen’s piece about Mandela in Canada’s Globe and Mail
Musa Okowonga: Mandela will never, ever, be your ministrel
Mandela’s gut-check for the political right: an analysis of Conservative statements by Neil Macdonald, CBC
Slavoj Žižek in The Guardian: If Nelson Mandela really had won, he wouldn’t be seen as a universal hero