Nelson Mandela: A Hero's Welcome

Mandela arrives in the U.S. seeking support against apartheid and finds that Americans want something too: a chance to hail him

On one level Nelson Mandela is merely a man of extraordinary courage whose commitment to racial justice never flagged during 27 years in South African prisons. In another sense he is a "loyal and disciplined member" of the African National Congress, a dedicated revolutionary who humbly submits to the collective leadership of the antiapartheid group. But on a more transcendent plane, where history is made and myths are forged, Mandela is a hero, a man, like those described by author Joseph Campbell, who has emerged from a symbolic grave "reborn, made great and filled with creative power."

In this era of...

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