Since Nelson Mandela died, compliments have come from all shades of the political spectrum, as politicians and commentators competed for the most impressive sound bite or pithiest phrase. There has been barely a critical word among them. The praise is not insincere or wrong, nor does it need to be qualified. But it tends to reduce Mandela's life to a couple of stereotyped themes, omitting most of Mandela’s life, giving little context to explain his actions and attitudes, and failing to capture the flavour of the society he confronted and changed.
Read Rodney Tiffen’s full article in the Australian Review of Public Affairs (191).
Image: Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg, Gauteng, 13 May 2008 © South Africa The Good News / www.sagoodnews.co.za [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.