Mandela: An Audio History

by | Read by Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela, Joe Richman

Published by HighBridge Audio

Recognized as one of the most comprehensive oral histories of apartheid ever broadcast (NPR, BBC, CBC, SABC), Mandela: An Audio History tells the story of the struggle against apartheid through rare sound recordings. The series weaves together more than 50 first-person interviews with an unprecedented collection of archival sound: a rare recording of the 1964 trial that resulted in Mandela’s life sentence; a visit between Mandela and his family secretly taped by a prison guard; marching songs of guerilla soldiers; government propaganda films; and pirate radio broadcasts from the African National Congress (ANC).

Once thought lost forever, Radio Diaries producer Joe Richman unearthed a treasure trove of these historic recordings in the basement archive of the South African Broadcasting Corporation. Ultimately, over 50 hours of archival recordings and many more hours of contemporary interviews with the living witnesses to South Africa’s turbulent history have gone into the creation of one of the most moving audio documentaries ever produced.

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AudioFile Review

Mandela: An Audio History

This remarkable audio history begins with Nelson Mandela's voice proclaiming on a crackly recording his five immortal words:"I am prepared to die." The words were uttered when he gave a four-hour speech testifying at his own trial in 1964. Throughout this compelling history, Desmond Tutu is accompanied by multiple voices and newsreels in support of Mandela's life story. Music such as Miriam Makeba's “Make Us One” and “Beware, Verwored” (one of South Africa’s prime ministers) is sprinkled throughout. Sound effects like doors closing at Robben Island or prisoners doing hard labor at the quarry personalize the story. President de Klerk's announcement of Mandela's freedom and Mandela's inauguration as president conclude this look at a unique history. S.G.B. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award, 2015 Audies Winner © AudioFile 2014, Portland, Maine


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