Nelson Mandela's coffin 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Nelson Mandela’s death has generated a world-wide outpouring of adulation seemingly unprecedented in recent history. His story – beginning in a tiny village of mud huts; joining the anti-apartheid movement; surviving twenty seven years in prison on Robben Island with his dignity intact; negotiating with South Africa’s all-white government for the transition to full democracy; and being elected as its first black president, inviting his jail-keeper to his inauguration – is clearly the stuff of legend. Except, remarkably, it happened.In much of the commentary about him in the past two weeks, two themes key to his success emerge prominently: his capacity for forgiveness and reconciliation, and his pragmatism in service of the goal of a democratic South Africa.
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