Nelson Mandela and the Game That Made a Nation

By John Carlin

Penguin Books, Paperback, 9780143117155, 274pp.

Publication Date: November 18, 2009

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 together.

After being released from prison and winning South Africa's first free election, Nelson Mandela presided over a country still deeply divided by fifty years 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 1995 World Cup. The 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.

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About the Author
John Carlin is an acclaimed journalist and author who was the Independent's South Africa correspondent from 1989 to 1995. He has also written for the Times, the Observer, the Sunday Times, and the New York Times, among other publications. His previous books include Knowing Mandela and Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Made a Nation, which is the basis for the film Invictus.