Notes to the Future
Words of Wisdom
The authorized record of Nelson Mandela’s most inspiring and historically important quotations
Notes to the Future is the definitive book of quotations from one of the great leaders of our time. This collection—gathered from privileged access to Mandela’s vast personal archive of private papers, speeches, correspondence, and audio recordings— features more than three hundred quotations spanning more than sixty years, and includes his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech.
These inspirational quotations, organized into four sections—Struggle, Victory, Wisdom, and Future—are both universal and deeply personal. We see Mandela’s sense of humor, his loneliness and despair, his thoughts on fatherhood, and the reluctant leader who had no choice but to become the man history demanded.
A good pen can also remind us of the happiest moments in our lives, bring noble ideas into our dens, our blood and our souls. It can turn tragedy into hope and victory.
FROM A LETTER TO ZINDZI MANDELA, WRITTEN ON ROBBEN ISLAND, FEBRUARY 10, 1980
Inspiring quotes from Nelson Mandela
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Your Majesty the King, Your Royal Highness, Esteemed Members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Honorable Prime Minister, Madam Gro Harlem Brundtland, Ministers, Members of Parliament and Ambassadors, Fellow Laureate, Mr. F. W. de Klerk, Distinguished Guests, Friends, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I extend my heartfelt thanks to the Norwegian Nobel Committee for elevating us to the status of a Nobel Peace Prize winner.
I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate my compatriot and fellow laureate, State President F. W. de Klerk, on his receipt of this high honor.
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