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Xolela Mangcu on Nelson Mandela: The Aristocrat and the Revolution

February 26, 2018 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Click here to RSVP: Nelson Mandela: The Aristocrat and the Revolution – A Historical Biography

Author Xolela Mangcu dispenses with the standard argument that Nelson Mandela was the product of the traditional African leadership culture of his guardian, Chief Jongintaba. He argues that through their policy of pragmatic friendship with white colonialists, Mandela’s Thembu royal family became early founders of a conservative, collaborationist, colonial modernity that stood in sharp tension with his later radical influences in Johannesburg. These contradictory, but unmistakably modernist, influences became the source of Mandela’s celebrated pragmatism.

Xolela Mangcu is Professor of Sociology at the University of Cape Town, and a resident fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. His books include The Meaning of Mandela (2007) –(essays by Wole Soyinka, Cornel West and Henry Louis Gates Jr); Becoming Worthy Ancestors (2011), (essays by Benedict Anderson, Kwame Anthony Appiah, Martin Bernal); and Biko: A Life (2013). Mangcu holds a Ph.D. from Cornell and fellowships from Harvard, M.I.T., the Brookings Institution and the Rockefeller Foundation.


February 26, 2018
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Event Category:


Wilson Center
1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW,
Washington, DC 20004 United States