Get Your Free Audiobook

  • Long Walk to Freedom

  • The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela
  • Written by: Nelson Mandela
  • Narrated by: Michael Boatman
  • Length: 27 hrs and 39 mins
  • 4.9 out of 5 stars (16 ratings)

1 credit a month to use on any title to download and keep
Listen to anything from the Plus Catalogue—thousands of Audible Originals, podcasts and audiobooks
Download titles to your library and listen offline
Limited time offer: 2 months free trial
Long Walk to Freedom cover art

Long Walk to Freedom

Written by: Nelson Mandela
Narrated by: Michael Boatman
Free with trial

₹199 per month after 30-day trial. Cancel anytime.

Buy Now for ₹500.00

Buy Now for ₹500.00

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice.

Publisher's Summary

The autobiography of global human rights icon Nelson Mandela is "riveting...both a brilliant description of a diabolical system and a testament to the power of the spirit to transcend it" (Washington Post).

Nelson Mandela was one of the great moral and political leaders of his time: an international hero whose lifelong dedication to the fight against racial oppression in South Africa won him the Nobel Peace Prize and the presidency of his country. 

After his triumphant release in 1990 from more than a quarter century of imprisonment, Mandela was at the center of the most compelling and inspiring political drama in the world. As president of the African National Congress and head of South Africa's anti-apartheid movement, he was instrumental in moving the nation toward multiracial government and majority rule. He is still revered everywhere as a vital force in the fight for human rights and racial equality.

Long Walk to Freedom is his moving and exhilarating autobiography, destined to take its place among the finest memoirs of history's greatest figures. Here for the first time, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela told the extraordinary story of his life - an epic of struggle, setback, renewed hope, and ultimate triumph.

The book that inspired the major motion picture Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

©1995 Nelson Mandela (P)2011 Hachette

Critic Reviews

"Narrator Michael Boatman has a gentle but insistent voice that suggests a certain grace and is well suited for the memoir of this worldwide symbol of persistence and justice. Boatman’s authentic pronunciation of South African tribes and other words also lends great credibility to his reading. He narrates at an unhurried pace and lingers on certain words throughout the book in order to let us inhale Mandela’s meanings." (AudioFile)

What listeners say about Long Walk to Freedom

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    15
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    15
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    14
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

An extra ordinary book

You will start appreciating smallest pleasure of like once you listen to this book. Chapter 100 left me teary eyed in which he is released from prison.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile image for History
  • History
  • 17-11-11

Surprisingly honest autobiography.

If the material itself were a little more "audio friendly," this would get 5 stars, but there are just way too many hours of names, dates and places. Some section are virtually just lists of events and who participated ... too much to make this an entirely enthralling listening experience. Regardless, it has much to recommend it and I do highly recommend it.

Michael Boatman does a very credible South African accent, although it slips away and then comes back at odd intervals. However, he puts a a lot of effort into properly pronouncing some difficult names and words in a language most non-Africans can't say at all, much less correctly. Moreover, he has a beautiful voice and does a fine acting job with material which gets very dry for extended periods.

This book is full of contradictions. In sections consisting of "lists," I gave up trying to remember exactly who was who and waited for the story to resume, letting my brain drift through details I could not follow .You may well want to read this book again in print. It is impossible to absorb or remember it all just listening to it.

The overall story is fascinating. Amazing. Nelson Mandela does a beautiful job of explaining this intricate and contradictory ... and crazily complex ... society where nothing is simple and not to be punny, nothing is black and white. There are villains and heroes, but plenty of shades of gray too. Everyone is human and multi-faceted.

Considering his own role in the story, Mandela is relentlessly honest. He does not use his book to excuse his own bad behavior. He is imperfect and takes responsibility for his actions, good and bad. He also takes credit and is not quite the humble fellow portrayed in movies and press. He's a proud man who worked hard and paid a heavy price to accomplish something no one believed possible. While he does not make himself out to be a super hero, he IS a hero ... in my opinion more heroic because of his fallibility and willingness to learn from errors. It is refreshing. Honesty is uncommon in political autobiographies.

So despite the fact that there are sections of material that make pretty dull listening, if you wait, the scene will shift and suddenly, there's tension and excitement. The story of how this strange nation emerged from the darkness into light is probably unique in human history and definitely worth listening to. If you have any interest at all in Africa, or even a mild curiosity, you should read it. I learned so much I will need to read it again. \

It's possibly the strangest combination of social groupings anyone could imagine. Melding them into a nation without the obvious huge obstacle of Apartheid would have been difficult. Given the realities, it is astounding that this is a success story. It boggles the mind.

From the point of view of production, it's very smooth with a nice use of occasional music for punctuation. Very well done all around.

106 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile image for Nothing really matters
  • Nothing really matters
  • 20-03-14

Great book, great narration.

When I started this book, I thought "Wow, a 27-hour long book! I'll probably be sick of it by the end." But, in fact I found myself wish it had been much more detailed and much longer.

Nelson Mandela's life makes for a fascinating and inspiring story.

Michael Boatman's performance was amazing. Most of the time, it felt as it was Nelson Mandela himself talking.

43 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile image for Jan
  • Jan
  • 12-12-13

Long read, much shorter than his walk...

I knew so little about Nelson Mandela, it seemed only right to read his autobiography at the time of his death. The book is not a polished literary masterpiece and there are sections where you can space out as lists, abbreviations, repeated thoughts and the machinations of politics mire the story... a good edit would help. There is very little about his childhood, not much of anchoring South African history and it was written prior to his presidency... so left me wanting a more, as well as a little less. That said, it was a fascinating read and I enjoyed stepping into his mind and prison cell. He is very frank, admitting his own errors and those of his people, along with the many offenses of the apartheid government. Well worth the credit and time for me to better understand the South African fight for freedom though his eyes and experiences..

28 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile image for Brendan
  • Brendan
  • 02-05-16

Best Autobiography Ever?

The title is really all you need to know. This is an autobiography worthy of Mandela himself, and despite running at over 27 hours long, "Long Walk to Freedom" is never boring.

Despite certain criticisms I saw of the narrator in other Audible reviews, I found his narration pretty much as good as it could be. God knows I couldn't pronounce some of the place names he pronounces with aplomb.

A must!

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile image for Gary
  • Gary
  • 04-03-13

Very Long...But Amazing History

I'm a big fan of Nelson Mandela and appreciate his incredible accomplishments and contributions to the South Africa and the world. However, let me warn you, if you are primarily interested in his experience in prison and afterwards this is not the book for you. That time in his life is only a small portion of the book. This book documents his life leading up to the more well known time in Mandela's life. Outstanding narrator!

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile image for John
  • John
  • 19-11-15

A revolutionary with immense patience and wisdom

Of course when Mandela wrote the book his side had won so he could more easily look back with great grace and hindsight. But that these were key qualities of his is unmistakable. When he talks about noticing the goodness of humanity in small gestures of a prison guard, it is remarkable and telling. His immense patience with his friends and foes alike reminded me of Lincoln in a Team of Rivals. Both of these men had the great gift of taking the long view and we are all better for it.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile image for Romulo
  • Romulo
  • 23-09-12

A wonderful history, just as Nelson himself!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I definately would, this is one of the best books I have ever read.

What did you like best about this story?

The history and how it changed my views of Nelson Mandela. I used to think that he suffered a lot his whole life due to prejudice. But reading the book changed my mind. I now see him as an example of a great human who fought and won what we wanted for his nation.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Yes, when me meets Winie in person after so many years in prison. I met Winie with him, I was just so happy that I couldn't stop crying.

Any additional comments?

This is a book that should be read by everone in the world.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile image for Jean
  • Jean
  • 21-09-19

Excellent

I had skipped over this book by Nelson Mandela (1918-2013) many times thinking I had read it. The other day I checked my records and was surprised to discovered I had recorded it to read but had not read it. I now have corrected that mistake.

The book is well written. It covers Nelson Mandela’s life from childhood to becoming the president of South Africa. The author also describes the history of South Africa and the various local tribes so I have a better understanding of the situation. The writing is a bit dry at times and very little personal emotion is displayed. Mandela’s high ideals and his fight for freedom comes through loud and clear in the book. The book is about the fight for civil rights. This is an excellent memoir. It held my attention throughout the book.

The book is twenty-nine hours and thirty-nine minutes. Michael Boatman does a good job narrating the book. Boatman is an actor and audiobook narrator. I am glad I read this as an audiobook as I would never had been able to pronounce the African names.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile image for Juliet Boyd
  • Juliet Boyd
  • 31-07-15

Wonderful autobiography but poor narration

What made the experience of listening to Long Walk to Freedom the most enjoyable?

Amazing and personal story

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Michael Boatman?

As a South African I was disappointed that a South African narrator was not chosen. Mr. Boatman does a good job of imitating Madiba's speech but cannot manage the pronounciation of places and people. He could not pronounce any of the Afrikaans names and places. It was very disappointing and sloppy.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile image for Mine Your Own
  • Mine Your Own
  • 29-11-11

Inspirational

Everyone, especially Africans should read this book to understand the evils of intolerance as we all move forward in life. We should preach the word that to deny another human being equal rights just because we do like or understand them is pure evilness at its height. The Nazi’s intolerance towards Jews, The Africana’s intolerance towards Africans, the so called Christians intolerance towards gays and so on and so forth. A great book from a great man and leader in the struggle for equality for ALL South Africans.

6 people found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile image for Tony Bellis
  • Tony Bellis
  • 28-05-22

Autobiography of a Legendary Person

A great insight into Mandela's life and the wider history of South Africa. As someone who grew up in the UK in the 1970s and 1980s I did not fully understand the atrocities I was witnessing on the TV news broadcasts. This book has given me a greater understanding of the background issues and the mindset and political stances of different ethnic and cultural groups in the country. An excellent listen and well narrated.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile image for pdm-joker
  • pdm-joker
  • 17-01-23

Inspiring and life changing

Moving account of the struggle for legal equality and a non-racial government. Inspiring and life changing.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile image for Chris Leech
  • Chris Leech
  • 28-12-22

Long listen but worth it…stay with it!

This is a great historic biography. Although it’s attention to detail at times gets in the way of the flow of the story. At times it feels like wading through names, places and legal cases. In between the mundane details, there is a compelling story, set against the backdrop of world history, from WWII, the Cold War, the civil rights movements spearheaded by Gandhi and Martin Luther King jr. Mandela’s intelligence, determination, innovation and tireless work over decades both in and outside prison is truly inspirational. The lack of bitterness and heart of reconciliation is a life lesson the we all need to take note of.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile image for Adam Macauley
  • Adam Macauley
  • 08-12-22

Very impactful!

What a truly great man. I have learnt and continue to learn a lot from his struggle and his exceptional character. Thoroughly enjoyed this and I would highly recommend.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile image for Dino1
  • Dino1
  • 02-12-22

Brilliant read and encapsulting historical record

Loved it. Felt trully captivated and immersed almost immediately. The narration, almost as much as the depth and detail made it hard to put down.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile image for Kindle Customer
  • Kindle Customer
  • 29-11-22

Great listen

Really enjoyed the who AB, especially towards the end and the references to the speeches that were made at the time

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile image for Jamie Barron
  • Jamie Barron
  • 31-10-22

Kept my interest

I’m not a big reader of autobiographies, but Mandela’s story is compelling and, although this is a long listen, my interest was kept up pretty much all the way through. The details are enjoyable, the characters well-observed and I found the reading by Michael Boatman very decent and listenable.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile image for Chris Venemore
  • Chris Venemore
  • 21-10-22

A must read

A great story of a great man well worth the time to read it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile image for STU E
  • STU E
  • 20-10-22

a great story

everybody should read this story.its history in the making.you .we can learn more from one book than you think......listen to it read it...remember it.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile image for Minnat
  • Minnat
  • 23-09-22

Good read

Compelling read about a fascinating world figure who fought for freedom with patience, integrity and decency.
I wish the recording quality was better

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile image for Colleen
  • Colleen
  • 01-10-22

Long walk to freedom - Brilliant!

I would never have gotten through such a big book without audio! Absolutely incredible journey! I’m so glad I read it!!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile image for MW
  • MW
  • 24-09-21

Fantastic narrator and story

I don’t normally write reviews. I’m only doing so to say I can’t understand why people are complaining about the narrator. I think he does an amazing job. The African accent took a couple chapters to get used to but after that it was a pleasure. Obviously the story is amazing also, but what else could you expect from Mandela?