Rick Stengel on Mandela’s Lessons on Life, Love and Courage

Rick Stengel, the editor of Time magazine, came to IPI on July 26th to discuss his new book, Mandela’s Way: Fifteen Lessons on Life, Love, and Courage. The book distills countless hours of intimate conversation that Mr. Stengel had during a long period of collaboration with the now 91-year-old “grandfather of South Africa” into fifteen essential life lessons drawn from Mandela’s character and experience.

Mr. Stengel collaborated with the former South African president on Long Walk to Freedom, his best-selling 1993 autobiography, and later served as co-producer of the 1996 Oscar-nominated documentary “Mandela.”

“There’s been a kind of Santa Claus-ification of Nelson Mandela, turning him into this kindly, white-haired, old fellow who symbolizes kind of peace and reconciliation,” Mr. Stengel said. “So far from the truth. I mean, Nelson Mandela was a revolutionary. He was the man who founded Umkhonto we Sizwe — the Spear of the Nation — the military wing of the ANC. He was a person who had to make terrible and dreadful decisions during his times in and out of prison. He was a man that people counted on for courage and strength, at times when people were at their lowest. I mean, he is so far from a Santa Claus-type figure, that I wanted people to see that side of him.”

The event was moderated by Warren Hoge, IPI’s Vice President for External Relations.

 Read transcript