Mandela is the ultimate global figure, and there are highly successful stories of other young lives of iconic figures (YOUNG STALIN by Simon Sebag Montefiore and THE MOTORCYCLE DIARIES movie featuring a young Che Guevara).
David James Smith was born in 1956 and has been a journalist all his working life. He writes for the Sunday Times Magazine.
"Smith is a sympathetic guide through these ambiguities, gently chiding when accounts differ, seeking neither to bury Mandela nor to praise him" -- Chris Waywell TIME OUT "Smith succeeds in bringing him to life, wading in where other biographers have feared to tread to provide much new information and genuine insight." -- Stephen Robinson SUNDAY TIMES "This is in no sense of a hatchet job. But the consequences of Mandela's life of struggle costs not just him, but everyone close to him dear" -- Peter Lewis DAILY MAIL "This book is valuable and fascinating, in the new detail it brings to the account of Mandela's life" -- Justin Cartwright THE OBSERVER "this is a long-overdue exploration of the making of the Mandela myth; one that refreshes a somewhat stale and overcrowded field" -- Mark Gevisser THE GUARDIAN "The clues to Mandela's deep conviction about the need for a multi-racial society lie in this period" -- Martin Meredith MAIL ON SUNDAY "tells us not only of the man but of the continent and era" -- Gillian Slovo DAILY TELEGRAPH "In this respectfully revisionist biography, dealing with the years before Mandela's imprisonment in 1964, Mandela is candid" THE TIMES "This book is valuable and fascinating, in the new detail it brings to the account of Mandela's life" -- Justin Cartwright IRISH SUNDAY INDEPENDENT "this is a fascinating account of - perforce - the most turbulent period of Mandela's life" -- Alec Russell FINANCIAL TIMES "It...gives an insight into the early and middle years of a future world figure" -- David Winnick TRIBUNE David James Smith's YOUNG MANDELA takes up the tale of Mr Mandela's rise within the A.N.C. in gripping fashion" -- J.M. Ledgard International Herald Tribune