Mandela and De Klerk are honored for bringing South Africa to the brink of freedom for all

A venerable school of historiography holds that great men and women make history, not that history makes great men and women. It is still a chicken- and-egg argument: Who or which comes first, the revolution or the revolutionary, the reformer or the reformation, the parade or the person leading it? The awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize last week to Nelson Mandela, president of the African National Congress, and F.W. de Klerk, President of the Republic of South Africa, bolsters both sides of this timeworn debate. De Klerk is pre- eminently an individual who has been pushed forward by the tide...

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