315pp., illus., paperback, Cape Town, 2017.
Foreword by Dikgang Moseneke.
"Bizos, intuitive as ever, does not attempt to depict Mandela as a flawless, saintly icon. Through a beguiling mixture of anecdote and analysis, he portrays Mandela as a human being willing to recognise his own weaknesses, and address them. He also captures Mandela's most benevolent strength, a willingness to acknowledge the strengths in others, including avowed former enemies. This would help Mandela to negotiate effectively with the apartheid regime.
This book. through lucid analysis, and often humorous anecdotes, vividly and honestly captures the life of Nelson Mandela. It also goes beyond personalities, providing fresh and honest insights into the evolution of the hideous apartheid system, from the late 1940s and beyond, as well as the birth of the 'new' South Africa." Achmat Dangor, author of "Kafka's Curse" and "Bitter Fruit"
"No one but George Bizos could have told this tale. He not only witnesses Nelson Mandela's tribulations and triumphs as counsel and friend for more than half a century, seeing history being made close-up, but himself made an important contribution to that history. This richly detailed record of his personal recollections and insights, while highly readable as a moving story of a unique friendship, makes a valuable contribution to our contemporary history." Johann Kriegler, retired justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa
"My first reaction to the news of a book about a friendship between George Bizos and Nelson Mandela was one of skepticism: they might have once been client and counsel or comrades even, but were they friends? The book not only expels my doubts, but shows there are different kinds of friendships. I am now a believer. George and Nelson were friends. Dear friends. Theirs was a unique, special kind of friendship. It has transcended race, culture, generation, politics and life itself. It has been timeless. Few could have captured its essence as the intimate and beautiful prose in this book does." Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, lawyer and author of "The Land is Ours, South Africa's first black lawyers and the birth of constitutionalism"
George Bizos was born in 1928 in the Greek village of Vasilitsi. During the Second World War he escaped from his occupied homeland and came to South Africa. Graduating from the University of the Witwatersrand with a legal degree and called to the Bar, he acted for many of Nelson Mandela's and Oliver Tambo's clients. He was involved with the Treason Trial and the subsequent Rivonia Trial, the trials of Bram Fischer and Winnie Mandela, the Delmas Trial, and other human-rights trials. He acted for the ANC at the post-1994 constitutional hearings and was associated with the amnesty hearings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. He is also the author of "No One To Blame? In pursuit of legal justice in South Africa" and his autobiography, "Odyssey to Freedom".