Nelson Mandela is the world’s greatest idol, universally recognised as a leader who symbolises moral authority. He has been mythologised as a flawless hero of the liberation struggle. But how exactly did his early personal and political life shape the triumphs to come?
This is the true history of the young men who assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand and shaped the twentieth century. In an exciting new work of non-fiction that is every bit as thrilling as The Day Of The Jackal, David James Smith brilliantly re-investigates the plot that changed the world.
Dr Hawley Harvey Crippen lived with his wife, a music-hall variety performer called Belle Elmore, among the suburban villas of north London where he had set himself up in the fashionable business of homoeopathy.
Jill Dando was on the edge of happiness. The ‘golden girl’ of the BBC she was in love and about to be married, with the expectation of starting a family. Then came the morning of Monday 26 April 1999, when she met her killer on her own doorstep, a shocking tragedy in an ordinary London street.
Friday, February 12, 1993. They began the day playing truant and ended it running an errand for the local video shop. In between they abducted a two year old child and killed him on the railway line. Now the world has heard the identities of the two ten year olds who were convicted of murdering James Bulger. But, distorted and obscured by the frenzy of publicity that followed their trial, Jon Venables and Bobby Thompson remain an unknown presence at the heart of the case.
On the cover of The Sunday Times Magazine…
The Sleep Of Reason – The James Bulger Case by David James Smith:
Faber Finds edition with new preface, available September 15th, 2011.
Young Mandela the movie – in development.
From The Guardian
Read the article
In the Diary column of The Independent, April 13th, 2011
More on my previously unsubstantiated claim that the writer-director Peter Kosminsky, creator of The Promise, is working on a drama about Nelson Mandela. I’ve now learnt that the project is a feature film, in development with Film 4, about the young Mandela. Kosminsky is currently at work on the script and, given the complaints about the anti-Jewish bias of The Promise, it is unlikely to be a standard bland portrait of the former South African president.
Nelson Mandela was circumcised as a 16-year-old boy alongside a flowing river in the Eastern Cape. The ceremony was similar to those of other Bantu peoples. An elder moved through the line making ring-like cuts, and foreskins fell away. The boys could not so much as blink; it was a rite of passage that took you beyond pain. read full review
Jon Venables: What Went Wrong
BBC 1, 10.35
Thursday, April 21st, 2011