Telling the gripping story of the struggles of South Africa's leading statesman, Otfinoski maintains a sympathetic but narrowly focused viewpoint by concentrating on the individual activities of Mandela and his generation of activists rather than listing the horrors of apartheid and the suffering of younger activists like Steven Biko (who isn't even mentioned). Using quotations from contemporary witnesses, Otfinoski gives a complete outline of Mandela's life--down to his release from prison, his triumphal tours of Europe and the US, and the beginnings of negotiation for a new constitution for South Africa. To the author's great credit, he also tries to make sense of Mandela's difficulties--the killing of a suspected police informer by his wife's bodyguards and the continuing conflict between his supporters and the Zulu tribal organization Inkatha. A final chapter establishes Mandela's place in history, regardless of what may happen during the rest of his life. Well written and fully documented with references to accessible sources, a biography that should remain valuable for years. Chronology; bibliography; index.