Sharon Sliwinski. 2016. Mandela's Dark Years: A Political Theory of Dreaming. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. 45 pp.
Nelson Mandela's life was not only defined by his fight against systemic oppression, but his life was also devoted to advancing the dignity of his people and the promotion of racial harmony in post-apartheid South Africa. This made Mandela one of the extraordinary human beings of our modern era. While his extraordinary life continues to attract scholarly/popular works, the attention on his years as a political prisoner appears to be disappearing from the scholarly landscape. This is why Sharon Sliwinski's Mandela's Dark Years: A Political Theory of Dreaming is relevant and timely in our attempt to better understand Mandela's life in totality.
Sliwinski's book is generally well-written with huge doses of political theory intermixed with in-depth conceptualization of dreaming or dream-life. Although short, the book has largely succeeded in examining the subject matter in six sections or chapters. Chapter one sets the tone for the book as the author recounts her reading of Mandela's autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, and the struggles he faced as a political prisoner on the Robben Island. What triggered the idea for the book, as the author narrates, was the section called "The Dark Years" in Mandela's autobiography. Like other prisoners, especially the prisoners of conscience, emotional/psychological hardships can be as tormenting as physical pain/suffering. The urge to survive and gain freedom could be described as...
This is a preview. Get the full text through your school or public library.