by Paul Landau
“Just when some were starting to think that there was nothing new to say about Nelson Mandela, Paul Landau comes along to show us just how much there is still to say about one of the most consequential figures of the twentieth century.” Jacob Dlamini
“Paul Landau offers us an outstanding book on Umkhonto we Sizwe, with the figure of Nelson Mandela at the centre of the story.” Shireen Hassim
“Spear: Mandela and the Revolutionaries is one of the most important books on South Africa to appear in more than a generation.” Clifton Crais
“Spear is an astonishing breakthrough achievement.” Tom Lodge
Drawing from several hundred first-person accounts, most of which are unpublished, Spear reshapes our understanding of Mandela by focusing on this intense but relatively neglected period of escalation in the movement against apartheid. Landau’s book is not a biography, nor is it a history of a militia or an army; rather, it is a riveting story about ordinary civilians debating and acting together in extremis. Contextualizing Mandela and MK’s activities amid anti-colonial change and Black Marxism in the early 1960s, Spear also speaks to today’s transnational anti-racism protests and worldwide struggles against oppression.