Playing the Enemy Nelson Mandela and the Game That Made a

Playing the Enemy Nelson Mandela and the Game That Made a Nation [PDF / EPUB] Playing the Enemy Nelson Mandela and the Game That Made a Nation 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 togetherAfter being released from prison and winning Beginning in Enemy Nelson PDF É a jail cell and ending in a rugby tournament the true story of how Playing the PDF/EPUB or the most inspiring charm offensive in history brought South Africa togetherAfter being released from prison and winning the Enemy Nelson PDF/EPUB Á South Africa's first free election Nelson Mandela presided over a country still deeply divided by fifty years the Enemy Nelson Mandela and Epub / 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 World Cup The the Enemy Nelson Mandela and Epub / 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.


10 thoughts on “Playing the Enemy Nelson Mandela and the Game That Made a Nation

  1. says:

    Nelson Mandela is my hero Rugby is my game I'm from the South Wales valleys 'nuff said Simply the best book I've read all year it was absolutely awesome Mandela's methods for disarming and charming everyone were inspirational this is the only inspirational book I've read I can't get into that genre at all I've just been chucked out without notice from a private group 'Back in Skinny Jeans' on Goodreads where some members don't like non Americans non Republicans non Christians and perhaps non Whites and really wanted me to know their views I fit it into all those groups so did Mandela He would have disarmed them and made them think again he had a way of bringing out the most decent parts of even despicable people I don't have his charisma but following the lessons he developed transforming himself from an advocate of violence to one of reconcilliation I may become a better person


  2. says:

    I'm not going to belabor the point here as I ususally doWe often act despite everyone's acknowledgement to the contrary as if our generation invented racism homosexuality godlessness greed gluttony and sometimes hate If we don't buy in to that common portrayal of who caued history's woes we sometimes still seem to see these things as ours to fix and take ownership where it's difficult to establish who is responsible for what We must stop this NOW yet if the problem has lasted for centuries why bring the same arguments and tools to the table that have never worked in the past?Now we sit in ivory towers under white buildings that look as if someone has set an overturned coffee cup on top of a rectangular whit box and draw battle lines on paper instead of in the sand Money becomes blood Law becomes the sword and we call ourselves civilized while in practice little changes save what one side or the other's needs for a new battle Try as we might we look back at our history in our past and scour present with fine toothed combs struggling to find heroes with perfect faces that can be mounted on milk cartons and billboards to show off dazzling smiles Failing to do that we make up or own and post their images choosing to believe as truths that really came from the darkest imagination in which they had been created In ignorance we ignored the true heroes who toil in obscurity to overcome massive mountains of trumped up thought with ages of experience at believing imagined rights and wrongs Faces that failed the test of photogenics and lighting or voices that seemed drol and ordinary instead of heroic While most of us in the US were absorbed in our own misery and joy either make believe or real in South Africa from 1985 to 1995 a battle raged Sometimes the battle involved blood and bone blade and bullet Sometimes these battles involved paper and law authority and anarchy Sometimes it involved thoughts and emotions both real and self cultivated and sometimes politics This was nothing as simple as a war of guns and bullets though there was plenty of that to go around this was a war for hearts and minds A war over that fragile illusive thing we choose as our Identity as a person and a nation and the relationship between us While most of the United states continued about their lives in blissful ignorance tipping the metaphorical hat at news stories and other odd things in press and on television the most important battle of our time had been started fought and won steming the tide of bloodhsed rather than causing to bleed It was perhaps the most important battle of all time about human rights and human dignity and the right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness with no barriers or glass ceilings decided by the colour of your skin and no privlidges ripped away by an angry fledgling government of wounded victimized warriors This book reads like a 300 page newspaper article John Carlin is after all a journalist It starts with a long history lesson that is as distasteful as it is interesting and wicked as it is wise In the middle the book turns to a tale of manipulation cunning and charm By the end it's a tale of triumph A bloodless coup where there were no casualties and the enemy joined the victors in celebration dancing in the streestsand the rest of the world slept with only a few even registering the importance of what was going on Our acknowlegement of what had passed held in check our need to have villains and faces to rail at and call shameful names and make believe heroes to occupy our guilt This book reads like the weather in Maine The first part is the cruel winter that seems to last well than it's fair uarter A brief spring that is far to short a blistering summer and a beautiful autum with gold and red leaves dancing in the wind As they say in Maine If you don't stay for the winters then you do not deserve the spring and summer Let no man be so foolish as to think that sports a national sport is only a thing of fancy or a bottle passion for sale to the highest bidder Surely those things can happen but here the galvanizing agent that started a healthy conversation about how Blacks and Whites in South Africa could live in peace without fear of eachother started with a A Hoolagin's sport played by gentleman A brutal sport of Contact and bone jaring collision amazing speed and skill played by strong men with the hearts of lions For Whites as one Rugger in the book put it For once we were not the bad guys everybody's favorite villains The people were behind us The whole world was behind us and we felt it We had regained our dignity after years of being everyone's enemy For blacks led by Nelson Mandella it was a chance to show that victors are not always vengeful Sometimes they are thoughttful and caring and understanding of simple pleasures That your fears of us are not waranted this is how we prove it It's a great book Everyone should read it


  3. says:

    I had tears in my eyes remembering that incredible day in Johannesburg as if it were yesterday I remember during the rugby World Cup final that the streets were eerily silent as every South African sat rapt in front of their television hoping against all hope that our team could accomplish the impossible I was 12 years old as I sat with my dad all nerves and raw emotion watching the game The joy that erupted in the streets after we won is a sight I will never forget The whole country black and white celebrating together It was something like the Rio carnival for days on end The new South Africa in action Reading about the events that went on behind at the scenes leading up to this day and our incredible champion Nelson Mandela made me proud than ever to be a South African The whole story just sounds far too good to be true but the best part is that it is true I hope that we can inspire our next generation to get this rainbow nation to fulfill the incredible potential we have to become even greater


  4. says:

    Fascinating I'm a huge rugby fan and I have a strong interest in SA politics I've read Mandela's autobiography but this was a close up on a short period of time with a different focus I've seen the footage of the 1995 Rugby World Cup and I've heard firsthand accounts of the way it brought the country together but this book gave me a new perspective on the attitudes pre Mandela It shows the vision that Mandela had of sport as a unifier the chances that he took and the dramatic changes that took place in the blink of an eye politically speaking I'll be interested to see if they capture half of the impact in the Morgan Freeman Matt Damon Clint Eastwood version that is coming out later this year If they're smart they'll incorporate documentary footage like van Sant did with Milk; I'm not sure there's any way to capture this emotion through staged scenes


  5. says:

    1994 was a critical year for South Africa A president had been elected by almost two thirds of voters in the first truly democratic one person one vote elections the country had ever had Tensions were simmering just barely under the surface not infreuently erupting into violent neighborhood rallies bloody skirmishes and even assassination Many of the white Afrikaner minority were worried about reprisals from the black majority some of whom were undoubtedly eager for revenge or at least eager to see whites “put in their place” after so long in power Extremist elements from both ends of the spectrum were arming themselves for what they deemed the inevitable civil war that would come Even among the moderate South Africans doubts that a lasting peaceful government could be forged ran rampantAnd then there was Nelson MandelaAlmost three decades of incarceration might be expected to have a hardening effect on a person particularly when the initial conviction was unjust However Nelson Mandela used his time in prison to come to understand his adversary He learned to speak Afrikaans studied Afrikaner history developed friendships with his Afrikaner jailors and continued to reach out to the government leaders who had put him in prison Eventually this approach not only secured his release from jail and his election to the presidency but also set his country on a path toward euality and reconciliation In the midst of this time of upheaval and radical change South Africa was also preparing to host the 1995 Rugby World Cup Rugby for those who are as unfamiliar with the sport as I am is sort of a cross between soccer and American football but without any pads to cushion the ferocious impacts Mr Carlin explains the Afrikaner passion for rugby as “the closest they got outside church to a spiritual life” and Mr Mandela himself once described it as “a religion” for Afrikaners The black South Africans generally viewed the gold and green uniforms of the Springboks along with the old national flag and national anthem as a symbol of the oppression they had suffered under decades of apartheid For years they had cheered for whatever team the Springboks were playing against urging a global boycott on South African rugby while apartheid was still law And then Mr Mandela determined that the best possible use for the sport of rugby is as “an instrument of political persuasion and reconciliation” To this end Mr Mandela worked with the disparate elements of South Africa tirelessly lobbying inspiring charming persuading and cajoling Xhosa Zulu English and Afrikaners alike into supporting the Springboks and his vision of South African unity “One Team One Country” He encouraged the vengeful anti apartheid activists to soften their stance against the symbols they loathed and to give the country a chance to come together He convinced General Constand Viljoen the former overall commander of the South African Defense Force who led a right wing group determined to take up arms against the new government to stand down and renounce war He motivated the almost completely Afrikaner rugby team to learn the Xhosa words to the new national anthem “Nkosi Sikelele” and sing it and the old national anthem with eual gusto before each match during the tournament In a triumphant ending worthy of a Hollywood film which as a matter of fact it now is the underdog Springboks defeated the heavily favored New Zealand All Blacks to win the World Cup and the entire country celebrated rapturously regardless of color As Archbishop Desmond Tutu explained “That match did for us what speeches of politicians or archbishops could not do It galvanized us it made us realize that it was actually possible for us to be on the same side It said it is actually possible for us to become one nation”Mr Mandela's optimism charisma and determination to engage all South Africans in the process of peace and justice prevailed against the fear and suspicions so prevalent at this turbulent time And the sport of rugby was his instrument of choice in this extraordinary reconciliationFor book reviews come visit my blog Build Enough Bookshelves


  6. says:

    Basically put Nelson Mandela is the MAN We tend to reduce people to symbols to say oh yeah him he's the guy that did this or she's the that girl or whatnot And that was basically the nature of my knowledge of Mandela a vague sense of his wisdom and love of freedom or somethingI don't know if this is the best book ever written about Mandela But reading it definitely has given me a fuller appreciation of a man I had once thought of only as a symbol He is a master manipulator ambitious pragmatic He is endlessly self aware and self assured He is a cosmopolitan world leader But without doubt the thing I found most remarkable about Mandela is that he spent 27 years in prison by the decree of a racist white government yet emerged proclaiming that Afrikaners were sons of Africa That he could say such words and mean them signals to me such a depth of wisdom courage and compassion In his eyes the solution to South Africa's problems didn't include expelling or taking revenge against whites but rather meant reaching out to them forgiving them and alternately manipulating forcing seducing them to embrace justice and true democracy Which is where the rugby part comes in Rugby it turns out had been percieved as the white man's sport and therefore derided by blacks as a state symbol of Apartheid For years the African National Congress Mandela's political party forbade international rugby games to take place in South Africa Mandela though had the foresight to imagine that rugby could become a unifying point for all South Africans And so he repealed the international ban on South African rugby and the country hosted the 1995 world cup setting the stage for a spectacular outcome both in the game and for the country


  7. says:

    Good if flawed account of Mandela's struggle to unify South Africa The author did a good job in showing how tenuous the country was during Mandela's term as president and Mandelas role in stabilizing a very dangerous period in history However there are just too many flaws in this book to thoroughly enjoy it First there is the formal and stiff writing style of the author It tends to be unfocused in describing the events Secondly while The author sincerely admires Mandela and there is much to be admired the adulation tends to be a bit heavy Third The Rugby part of the book doesn't really become important until the last uarter This is probably good since I know nothing about Rugby however I found it inspiring to read about how Mandela worked with his past enemies to unify a country In the scheme of things even this Rugby game seeedm to be a bit exaggerated in its importance This is a good example of the movie being better than the book


  8. says:

    Invictus Out of the night that covers meBlack as the Pit from pole to poleI thank whatever gods may beFor my unconuerable soulIn the fell clutch of circumstanceI have not winced nor cried aloudUnder the bludgeonings of chanceMy head is bloody but unbowedBeyond this place of wrath and tearsLooms but the Horror of the shadeAnd yet the menace of the yearsFinds and shall find me unafraidIt matters not how strait the gateHow charged with punishments the scrollI am the master of my fateI am the captain of my soul William Ernest Henley


  9. says:

    This book is both inspiring and boring If you want to know about how South Africa was able to avert THE civil war that all the experts proclaimed was inevitable then read this book If you want to know about rugby and the game then don't read this book This book is a paean to Nelson Mandela who was truly the right man at the right time in the right place Mandela makes Clinton and Reagan look like lightweights with his ability to charmrebound and chart the right course at critical decision points He completely disarmed his jailers and the Afrikaner culture with not only his political savvy but his humanity I'm looking forward to seeing the movie now and reading about Mandela


  10. says:

    Carlin uotes Albert Camus as writing that 27 years in prison makes a man a killer or a weakling or a combination of both How then did Nelson Mandela who spent 27 years in a South African prison escape this fate and become the leader who united blacks and whites in that previously apartheid country? To have that uestion answered was one reason I read this book aside from having it selected in a book group I knew of Nelson Mandela’s success i but I knew little of how he accomplished this feat so the book was compellingly instructive in that way Carlin is a journalist though not a historian so it’s not the book to find a lot of subtext to the history of South Africa and the legacy of Mandela in the twenty years since he left office A reader may well have unanswered uestions about that or how Mandela’s values changed over nearly three decades in prison But what Carlin concentrates on he does well He concentrates on Mandela’s actions after he was released from prison in l990 Mandela came to realize that change in South Africa would not be worth the bloodshed and upheaval brought on by civil war between blacks and whites and a class struggle between poor and rich As a leader he was in a position to to influence the direction the country would go and he moved it toward a peaceful end to apartheid Of course leaders on the other side saw no point either destroying the country through violence so there was some tentative common ground between the opponents A war was stopped but that certainly didn’t mean that there was a state of harmony and peace in South Africa Both Mandela and opposition leaders had a lot of different factions to deal with in their own camps and there were plenty of false steps that could have proved disastrous Some black leaders saw a weakness in Mandela that proved to be one of his strengths He had a tendency to trust people too much but that was because he saw good in people Most people lack this capacity and are prone to find enemies beyond redemption But because Mandela had this capacity Carlin writes he charmed people making them feel significant and important always being ready to listen to their viewpoint Grudgingly they began to respect his views Mandela originally knew little and cared less about rugby a passion among the Afrikaner Dutch descended South Africans There were many protests against international matches with South Africa so when Mandela met members of the team he applied his usual charm but as always his charm served his own ends People like winners but the success of the South African team was plagued by boycotts due to the apartheid policies of its country Mandela began to suggest that the team could play for something bigger than themselves the idea of a genuinely united nation As a black leader he would begin to move backs to support the team and have the boycotts lifted It worked with both sides gaining something It all came together in a climactic match between South Africa and New Zealand won by the South African team and improbable as it sounds sports had begun to unite a bitterly divided country People actually began to realize that they had in common than what divided them As an inspirational story of an unlikely event Carlin's book is a success


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