Book Review – Dare Not Linger

Dare Not Linger – The Presidential Years by Nelson Mandela and Mandla Langa with a prologue by Graca Machel (MacMillan) ISBN: 9781770105706

This is the story of Mandela’s presidency, drawing on the memoir he began to write as he finished his term as president. He was was unable to finish the book and South African author, Mandla Langa completed the book using Mandela’s unfinished draft, his detailed notes, and other archival material. The result is vivid and inspirational.

Dare Not Linger is the story of our late president’s time in office. The book explains his journey in detail. It is not written in historical order, but jumps to different parts of his life, making it an enjoyable read.

I started school in 1993 and remember some of the history, however I felt that the issues between the parties at the time were not explained.  This book fills in some of the gaps.

My favourite parts in the book include when he was released from prison, Graca’s prologue, and how he became the president (as this is not taught in schools). The vision that Nelson Mandela had for South Africa was a great one: to see unity and create a democratic country. He wanted to create a country where we are all equal.

One of the minor annoying things in the book was the key that you refer to for more information is on page 298 and you have to break your reading and refer to the information for the story to be understood.

I really liked the fact that there are articles, speeches, and caricatures (cartoons) in the book. The ending gave me goosebumps. South Africa has come a long way to overcome the past and in Nelson Mandela’s words, in his last speech as the president of South Africa – “The long walk continues!”

Natacia Leaf