Secrets To Becoming

Summary:
The phone rings. You hear an authoritative voice say, *Hello, I’m the producer of…Good Morning America or Oprah, or Larry King Live* or any other top talk show, you name it. This is your big moment, the break you’ve been waiting for. After you catch your breath what do you do?

Producers make an instant assessment of you in thirty seconds–or less. When you get that coveted call from a producer, you aren’t just *talking* to him: you’re auditioning. You are being screened…

The phone rings. You hear an authoritative voice say, *Hello, I’m the producer of…Good Morning America or Oprah, or Larry King Live* or any other top talk show, you name it. This is your big moment, the break you’ve been waiting for. After you catch your breath what do you do?

Producers make an instant assessment of you in thirty seconds–or less. When you get that coveted call from a producer, you aren’t just *talking* to him: you’re auditioning. You are being screened to be accepted or eliminated as a guest on their show. How can you pass the audition?

Secret #1: Ask Before You Speak

Before you even open your mouth to start pitching yourself and your story to the producer, ask them a simple question: *Can you tell me a little bit about the kind of show you envision?* In other words, ask the producer the angle he is planning to take.

Doing so has two advantages. First, it gives you a moment to overcome the shock and to collect your thoughts.

Second, once you hear the producer’s reply, you can gear your pitch to the type of information he’s seeking. Listen closely to the angle that he’s interested in and tailor your points to it. Publicists often use this technique to get their clients booked on shows. They *get* before they *give* – so they are in a good position to tell only the most pertinent information about their client.

Secret #2: Wow the Producers with Brevity

Follow the advice of jazz musician Dizzy Gillespie: *It’s not how much you play. It’s how much you leave out.* Keep your list of talking points by the phone when you call a producer (or a producer calls you), so you’ll be succinct. You will already have rehearsed your points so that they’ll sound natural and inviting. Be prepared with several different angles or pitches, different ways to slant your information. *Nobody gets on these shows without a pre- interview,* says publicist Leslie Rossman. *Be a great interview but don’t worry about the product you want to sell them because if you’re a great guest and you make great TV, they’ll want you.*

And keep in mind the words of Robert Frost: *Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and can’t, and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it.*

Secret #3: Prove You’re Not a Nutcase

If you area nutcase on the air, the producer will lose their job. What constitutes a nutcase? You may think it’s a positive trait to be enthusiastic (and it is), but anyone who is overly zealous about his passion is considered a nut. Best-selling author and screenwriter Richard Price talks about this phenomenon as *The dangerous thrill of goodness.* He says, *What happens is you can get very excited by your own power to do good.* Don’t get carried away by this thrill.

One way to tell if you’re being too zealous is that you’re hammering your point at top speed with the energy of a locomotive pulling that toot lever non-stop. I remember a man calling me up about how he was single-handedly taking on Starbucks – who, he felt, had done him wrong. He wanted me to promote his cause. While this could have been a great David versus Goliath type story, he was long on emotion and short on facts. Some statistics or figures would have tempered his mania.

But he also never checked in with me to see if he had my interest. By talking loudly and barely pausing for a breath, he appeared to be a man who wouldn’t take direction well. His single-mindedness was off- putting, not engaging.

When you’re talking to a producer speak for 30 seconds or so and then check in by asking, *Is this the kind of information you’re looking for?* Listen for other verbal cues, such as encouraging grunts, or *uh huhs.*

Secret #4: Can You Mark *The Big Point?*

Contributors to the popular radio show *This American Life,* hosted by Ira Glass, have taken to calling the wrap-up epiphany at the end of a story, *The Big Point.* This is the moment that the narrator gives his perspective on the story in an attempt to elevate it from the mundane to the universal.

Another radio personality, Garrison Keillor, is a master at it. He tells long, rambling stories (not good advice for you), then ties up all the story strands in a coherent and satisfying way. As a great guest, you want to illuminate your story with a big standout point that helps the audience see the significance of your story in their world and the world at large. Rather than hitting them over the head with a two-by-four, you want to share your insights with a feather-like touch. By framing your story you alert the producer to the fact that you’re a thinker and can contribute great insights and clarity to a story thus increasing its appeal.

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Choosing an eBook

                                        

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 Choosing an eBook Compiler ?

You’ve written and revised your eBook, hired an artist who has produced outstanding graphics, and now you’re ready to actually put together your ebook. What you need to make an ebook is software called an eBook Compiler.

There are many different compilers to chose from, but first, you need to know exactly what an ebook Compiler does. Here is the simple explanation:

An ebook compiler is a software program that converts either text pages or HTML text into a single executable file or an ebook.

If you or someone you hired has created a file with graphics in HTML, you will need an HTML ebook Compiler. This type of compiler requires a working knowledge of the HTML tag language. You can also use software to do this for you, such as Microsoft FrontPage or Macromedia Dreamweaver.

How do you choose an eBook Compiler?

There are a large number of ebook Compilers available on the market, all with glowing sales copy and tekkie language. It can get very confusing and overwhelming very fast without some simple guidelines to help you figure out which compiler is right for you.

Choosing an ebook Compiler depends on a number of factors:

1. How did you create your pages? Did you use HTML or PDF format? There are many more compilers available for HTML, but you can find some very good compilers that will covert your PDF files into an ebook.

2. Consider how easy the program is to use and the thoroughness of the software’s instruction manual. It is absolutely necessary that the compiler you buy have an instructional manual, documentation, or online « wizards. » If it doesn’t, your chances of figuring out how to correctly use the program are compromised, and the time required doing so is going to be significant. Many manufacturers of compilers offer a free trial version so you can play around with it and see if it suits your needs. Download the trial version and ascertain that it actually does what it claims to do.

3. Security features. If you plan to sell your ebook, check out the security features of the compiler software carefully. Security features should include: prevention of the reader from modifying text, access only to the pages you assign or by entering a password, different ways of generating passwords such as secure passwords, user-friendly, and open passwords.

4. Supported scripting. Find out what scripts the software supports. Scripting allows you to create special effects, customize menus, and create and modify other user interactivity. Choose a compiler that permits you to include graphics, search windows, hyperlinks, forms, surveys, etc.

5. Pricing. This is a factor that is not always easy to gauge. The highest priced compilers are not automatically your best choice. Choose your compiler based on the necessary requirements for your Ebook. That means you need to know exactly how you plan to use your Ebook and what functions you require.

Let’s look at some of these factors in more detail. First of all, make sure you have the correct browser to run the compiler. The majority of HTML compilers use Microsoft Internet Explorer or Netscape. Check out the version that the compiler supports. Compilers that require a browser will not run on a computer that does not have the required browser installed. However, there are ebook HTML compilers that don’t require you to have any browser installed on your computer. These compilers run on any Windows system.

If you choose a compiler that requires a browser, check to ascertain that the browser is installed correctly and that it is properly configured to the specifications of the compiler. Check to see if certain functions are turned off or on, and make any adjustments according to the compiler instructions.

Security is an essential element of any compiler, regardless of whether you plan to sell or give away your ebook. One of the main reasons for using a compiler is to prevent the reader from modifying the contents. A secure compiler allows access only to the pages you want the user to access unless they enter a correct password.

To find out how secure an ebook HTML compiler is, open an ebook on it. While it is open, check the temporary directory of your computer. This can usually be accessed by typing in C:\Windows\temp. If you see a bunch of files when your ebook is open or running, it means that your computer is decompressing the secure data from your ebook before showing the ebook to the viewer. This method is not secure! It means that anyone with the knowledge of how to access these temporary files can steal the secure data and then they can fiddle with your ebook to their evil heart’s desire. Remember, one of the main purposes of buying and using an HTML compiler is to protect your property.

Next, let’s discuss passwords. When trying to choose an ebook Compiler, check out the type of passwords that the compiler supports. Almost all compilers offer some kind of password protection that insures that the user can only access the contents they have purchased from you. However, the best compilers offer varied ways to generate different types of passwords. Choose a compiler that gives you the options of secure, user-friendly, and open password generation.

Another important factor when it comes to passwords is how the compiler generates them. A compiler that has internal password protection generation built into the software is more secure than compilers that link to live Internet password control systems.

Find out if the compiler generates passwords online. If it has this option, it allows you to choose any payment processing system you want or to do the payment processing yourself.

Next, look into the size of ebook the compiler supports. The best compilers can create ebooks up to 2 GB in size without decompressing the HTML pages or images to your hard disk. Usually, ebooks that are 2 GB in size can easily support 6 GB of compressed data. The catch here is that only text files will generally be compressible.

You do not want a compiler that decompresses this amount of data when the user attempts to open your ebook. This would mean that anyone who purchases your ebook will have to wait for all the data to decompress before they can access your ebook right after downloading it. So look for compilers that only decompress temporarily files that are NOT HTML to the local hardisk. Non-HTML files include Flash, Word, and Acrobat files. This type of compiler is more secure and certainly faster.

Make sure the compiler you choose is compatible with your system software. Check out what version of Windows it requires, and make sure you have that version before buying your compiler.

Support issues are extremely important. Choose a compiler that includes an installation program. This program allows your user to choose a number of different places on their computer to install the ebook, to place a shortcut on their desktop, and to add the ebook, if they choose, to the Start Programs menu.

You also want excellent and accessible vendor support. Make sure you can access quick technical support! At three o’clock in the morning, this factor will be VERY important. Also, check to see the terms of free technical support offered. Unlimited technical support is obviously the best option.

Check to see if the company that puts out the compiler software offers a service level agreement. This agreement is to assure you of their quality response to your questions or problems.

A good thing to consider is how long the compiler has been on the market. Usually, the version number will give you an idea. The longer the program is on the market, the higher the version number, the more bugs have been worked out.

When choosing an ebook compiler, do not be swayed by incredible promises and dazzling sales copy. Do your homework first, and then consider all the above issues and factors before choosing an ebook compiler.

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Blog RSS

                                                                   

                                                                       Blog RSS

 

rss

Really Simple Syndication (RSS) is a tool useful for saving or retaining updated information on websites that you frequently visit or websites that are your favorite. RSS utilizes an XML code which scans continuously the content or subject matter of a certain website in search for new informations then transmits the information updates by way of feeding the information to subscribers.

RSS feeds are generally being utilized in blogs or news sites, though any website wanting to broadcast and publish information can use them. Once new information is sent, it will contain a headline, a little bit of text, and either a rundown or a brief review of the news or story. A link is needed be clicked upon to read further.

So as to accept RSS feeds, a feed reader is needed, called an aggregator. Aggregators are widely and freely available online, and all that is needed is a bit of searching, you will be able to locate a certain interface that best interest you. What’s more, RSS feeds can likewise be read and retrieved from cell phones and on PDAs.

Once you encounter upon a website that you want to add or insert to the aggregator, the process can be done in two ways. Almost all sites offering an RSS feed displays an “RSS” or “XML” button in their homepage and with one click, it promptly add that particular feed to one’s aggregator. Some aggregator however, requires the need to copy and then paste the URL of the feed unto the program.

Whatever the method used, you can be certain that the feed will be accessible soon as you have inserted it, likewise, in just seconds, the next update can arrive. In the event that you do not anymore would want to accept or take in updates, you may simply delete or erase the feed from the aggregator.

Through e-mail subscriptions, you can receive newsletters. RSS feeds on the other hand, can be more convenient in keeping up with newsletter updates since they are prompt and available in an instant; you no longer have to wait for a scheduled time or day to obtain a news summary, plus, these news will never be detained through a spam filter.
RSS feeds are widely used everyday by individuals who understand and appreciate the accessibility of fast reports and news that can be readily read and only read certain updates that appeals to them.

Aggregators

Aggregators are popular use of feeds, having several kinds. Web aggregators or portals as they are sometimes called, create this view which is then made available in a Web page. Also, Aggregators have been incorporated into e-mail patrons, users of desktops, or dedicated and standalone software.

Offering a collection of special features, such as combining more than a few related feeds in just a single view, hiding certain entries or statements that has been already viewed, and classifying entries and feeds, the aggregator is a versatile component.

Why make a feed available?

You will have more viewers, since now, your viewers can conveniently see your site without even going out and looking for that certain site. While at first, it may seem corrupt, it will in fact enhance the visibility of your site; this is so because users can easily keep up or keep tract with your site, to allow them to view in a way that they want to; it’s more probable that guests are aware should something that is in their interest is available or accessible on your site.

For instance, every month your website broadcasts a new feature. Having no feed, your viewers will always have to keep in mind to go to your site in a certain time to see if they discover something new; that is, if they can remember, and if they still have the time. However, if you supply a feed for your viewers, they can just point to their aggregator and it will instantly provide them a link along with a description of happenings or events at your site immediately.

What format to choose?

Syndication is very confusing as it uses a lot of formats that can usually be come across in the web. However, this can easily be solved as in general, syndicated libraries are used by aggregators which conceptualize a particular format that a feed is in, in order that they can utilize a certain syndication feed.

With this, whatever format to pick is just a matter of personal preference. RSS 1.0 is far reaching, and practical should it be integrated into Semantic Web systems. RSS 2.0 is very easy and simple create by hand. And atom is an IETF Standard, does it brings constancy, stability and a natural and accepted community to support its usage.

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Niche Markets

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

      How To Become A Super Affiliate In Niche Markets

How To Become A Super Affiliate In Niche Markets

How To Become A Super Affiliate In Niche Markets

How To Become A Super Affiliate In Niche Markets Over the past years, web hosting has grown bigger than it used to be. With more companies getting into this business and finding the many benefits it can give them, the demand for web hosting has never been higher. These seem to be the trend of today. 38 million people have put up their very first websites online this year 2005 alone. It is estimated that by 2008, the internet sales industry will top then dollar bank. And to think, majority of those sites will be offering different affiliate programs for people to choose and participate into. This only means one thing. It is easier now to find the right web host for your application. The possibility of quality web hosting companies separating themselves from the rest of the industry is anticipated. If this is done, the unprofessional and incompetent ones will suffer. Support will be the number one consideration for people when choosing a web host. It will be obvious that traditional advertising will become less and less effective. Most people would rather opt for the web host based on things that they see and hear. Also based on the recommendations by those who have tried them and have proved to be a successful. This is a great opportunity for web hosting affiliates and resellers alike. There would hundreds of web hosting and programs to choose from that the difficulty in finding the right one for them is not a problem anymore. How does one become a successful affiliate in the niche markets using web hosting? If you think about it, everyone who needs a website needs a web hosting company to host it for them. As of now, there is really no leading hosting industry so most people choose hosts based from recommendations. Usually, they get it from the ones that have already availed of a web hosting services. With the many hosts offering affiliate programs, there is the tendency to find the one which you think will work best for you. Think of the product you will be promoting. Pattern them to the site and see if they are catering to the same things as you are. When you have been with one host for quite some time and seem not to be making much despite all your effort, leave that one and look for another. There is no use in trying to stick to one when you would be before off in another one. Things will only have to get better from there because you already have been in worst situations. Try this out. If you are quite happy and satisfied with your web host, try to see if they are offering an affiliate program you can participate on. Instead of you paying them, why not make it the other way around; them paying you. The process can be as easy as putting a small “powered by” or “hosted by” link at the bottom of your page and you are already in an affiliate business. Why choose paying for your for your web hosting when you do not have to? Try to get paid by letting people know you like your web host. Always remember that when choosing a web host, choose the one that is known for its fantastic customer support. There are also many hosting affiliate programs. Residual affiliate program is also being hosted. This is the program wherein you get paid a percentage every month for a client that you refer. This can allow you to have a steady source of income. With perseverance, you can even be quite successful in this field. There are a lot of niche markets out there just waiting for the right affiliate to penetrate to them and make that dollars dream come true. Knowing which one to get into is being confident enough of your potentials and the good results you will be getting. Web hosting is just one affiliate market you could try out and make some good and continuous income. Just remember that to be successful on your endeavor also means that time, effort and patience is needed. Nobody has invented the perfect affiliate market yet. But some people do know how to make it big in this kind of market. It is just knowing your making the earnings there.

  

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Affiliate Marketer

Affiliate Marketer

Affiliate Marketer

A Day In The Life Of An Affiliate Marketer

Being in the affiliate marketing business is not that hard now with the internet at your disposable. It is much easier now compared to the days when people have to make use of the telephones and other mediums of information just to get the latest updates on the way their program is coming along.

So with technology at hand, and assuming that the affiliate is working from home, a day in his or her life would sound something like this…

Upon waking up and after having breakfast, the computer is turned on to check out new developments in the network. As far as the marketer is concerned there might be new things to update and statistics to keep track on.

The site design has to be revised. The marketer knows that a well-designed site can increase sign ups from visitors. It can also help in the affiliate’s conversion rates.

That done, it is time to submit the affiliate program to directories that lists affiliate programs. These directories are means to attract people in joining your affiliate program. A sure way of promoting the affiliate program.

Time to track down the sales you are getting from your affiliates fairly and accurately. There are phone orders and mails to track down. See if they are new clients checking the products out. Noting down the contact information that might be a viable source in the future.

There are lots of resources to sort out. Ads, banners, button ads and sample recommendations to give out because the marketer knows that this is one way of ensuring more sales. Best to stay visible and accessible too.

The affiliate marketer remembered that there are questions to answer from the visitors. This has to be done quickly. Nothing can turn off a customer than an unanswered email.

To prove that the affiliate is working effectively and efficiently, inquiries would have to be paid more attention on. Nobody wants to be ignored and customers are not always the most patient of all people. Quick answer that should appear professional yet friendly too.

In the process of doing all the necessities, the marketer is logged on to a chat room where he or she interacts with other affiliates and those under that same program. This is where they can discuss things on how to best promote their products.

There are things to be learned and it is a continuous process. Sharing tips and advices is a good way of showing support. There may be others out there wanting to join and may be enticed by the discussion that is going on. There is no harm in assuming what opportunities ahead.

The newsletters and ezines were updated days ago, so it is time for the affiliate marketer to see if there are some new things happening in the market. This will be written about in the marketer’s publication to be distributed to the old and new customers.

These same publications are also an important tool in keeping up to date with the newly introduced products. The marketer has put up a sale and promotion that customers may want to know about. Besides, they have to keep up with the deadline of these sales written in the publications.

It is that time to show some appreciation to those who have helped the marketer in the promotions and sale increase. Nothing like mentioning the persons, their sites and the process they have done that made everything worked.

Of course, this will be published in the newsletters. Among the more important information that have been written already.

The marketer still has time to write out recommendations to those who want credible sources for the products being promoted. There is also time to post some comments on how to be a successful affiliate marketer on a site where there are lots of wannabees.

Two objectives done at the same time. The marketer gets to promote the product as well as the program they are in. Who knows, someone may be inclined to join.

Time flies. Missed lunch but is quite contented with the tasks done. Bed time….

Ok, so this may not be all done in a day. But then, this gives you an idea of how an affiliate marketer, a dedicated one that is, spends the marketing day.

Is that success looming in the distance or what?

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Nelson Mandela

biography of Mandela 

nelson mandela

This is hardly the first serious biography of Mandela. There are already two ‘authorised’ biographies, both by friends of his, writers belonging to the same generation as their subject. Fatima Meer’s Higher than Hope was researched and written in the late 198os and published in 1988.1 Anthony Sampson’s Mandela was published in 1999.2 Martin Meredith’s equally perceptive and detailed treatment of Mandela’s life appeared in 1997.3 This book draws upon these writers’ work sub¬stantially, as well as using the same kinds of primary sources: corres¬pondence, Mandela’s own writings, interviews, and memoirs, court documents, and contemporary press reportage. My first acknow¬ledgements should therefore be to Fatima Meer, Anthony Sampson, and Martin Meredith. Their work will continue to represent essential foundations for any future assessments of Mandela’s career. How is my treatment of Mandela’s life different from theirs? It is different in several ways. First of all, my understanding of Mandela’s childhood and youth is, I think, more complicated than in the other narratives about his beginnings. Mandela’s childhood was unusual because of his early departure from his mother’s household and his subsequent upbringing as the ward of a royal regent. Mandela’s emo-tional self-control as a personality, as well as his receptiveness to new ideas, is, I think, attributable to his upbringing in highly institutional-ised settings. Both at court and at school, Mandela absorbed principles of etiquette and chivalry that remained important precepts through his public life. They were principles that were reinforced by a sophis¬ticated literary culture that fused heroic African oral traditions with Victorian concepts of honour, propriety, and virtue. From his boy¬hood, Mandela’s life was shaped by ideas or values that were shared by rather than dividing his compatriots, black and white. In this context, the absence in his early life of intimidating or humiliating encounters with white people is significant, and, to an extent, distinguishes his childhood from many other black South African childhoods. Understandably, Mandela’s role as a primary agent in enabling the achievement of South African political reconciliation is a key theme in later projections of his life. Mandela’s autobiography, published in 1994, emphasises his own experience of empathy and even kindness across South Africa’s historic social and political fault lines, experi¬ence that could reinforce a project of new nation building. The tact¬ful omissions in his own testimony when it is compared with other histories of his life should remind us that autobiography is not always good history and Mandela’s own words about his own life should be read as critically as any other source. Even so, my book does cite plenty of contemporary evidence to suggest that Mandela’s willing¬ness to embrace all his compatriots as citizens was sustained by profes¬sional protocols and codes of behaviour. Even in the increasingly polarised climate of South Africa in the 1950s, these ideas about social conduct could transcend racial identity and they reinforced the decorous manners and patrician conventions that Mandela had maintained from home and school. I find less of a contrast than other writers between the young Mandela and the older veteran of imprisonment. Generally in Mandela’s career there are no sudden turning points; rather key decisions develop out of lengthy incremental processes of thought, and are often influenced by Mandela’s recollection of precedent. One especially significant instance of the continuities in his political beliefs was his conviction that reasoned discussion would eventually broker what he himself would eventually describe as a ‘legal revolution’. Legal training and practice had a crucial impact upon Mandela’s political development. In general, historians of anti-colonial move¬ments have paid insufficient attention to the influence of colonial legal ideas on African nationalist leadership. Mandela’s life is an espe¬cially striking demonstration of the ways in which ideas about human rights and civic obligations were shaped by his professional training. Most importantly, the structured world of courtroom procedure itself shaped Mandela’s political practice, restraining it even in its most theatrically insurgent phases, and reinforcing his respect for institutions, traditions, and history. The language of theatre is used quite commonly among Mandela’s biographers, but in this book one of my particular preoccupations is with Mandela’s political actions as performance, self-consciously planned, scripted to meet public expectations, or calculated to shift popular sentiment. Birth, upbringing, emotional self-sufficiency from an early age, social grace, imposing appearance, and elite status com-bined to encourage in Mandela an unusual assurance about his des-tiny as a leader, a ‘sense of his power’ to shape his own life that seems to have been shared by those around him. For Mandela, politics has always been primarily about enacting stories, about making narra¬tives, primarily about morally exemplary conduct, and only secondar¬ily about ideological vision, more about means rather than ends. In the South Africa of the early apartheid era, Mandela was one of the first media politicians, ‘showboy’ as one of his contemporaries nick¬named him, embodying a glamour and a style that projected visually a brave new African world of modernity and freedom. Mandela’s ascent as a politician and as a member of black Johannesburg’s high society occurred at a time of more general upward mobility among black South Africans and early sections of this book explore in some detail the social setting in which Mandela became a public personality. Mandela was especially sensitive to the imperatives for acting out a messianic leadership role during his short service as a guerrilla com-mander, a phase in which he and his comrades deliberately set out to construct a mythological legitimacy for their political authority, and in which they could engender hopes among their compatriots that salvation would be achieved through their own heroic self-sacrifice. From this perspective, their strategic and tactical decisions become more explicable. It was an approach that was rewarded several decades later when both Mandela and the movement around him exploited his iconic and celebrity prestige to endorse political compromise that may otherwise have been popularly unacceptable. In this book, I maintain that Mandela’s prestige, his moral capital as it were, was the consequence of an exceptional public status that began to develop very early in Mandela’s career, well before his imprisonment. His moral standing as a leader was enormously enhanced by his imprisonment, of course, although the reasons for his ascendancy as an international public hero during his years on Robben Island are by no means straightforward. In my own treatment of Mandela’s life in prison I underline the extent to which the prisoners became an organised community—here I was helped by Fran Buntman’s superb monograph4 as well as a rich range of memoirs from Mandela’s fellow prisoners. Within this community, Mandela was accorded a particular status. He was accorded this status by the prisoners and also, as importantly, by the officials who governed the prison. This highly structured world of the prison may have been a crucial environmental setting in helping Mandela to preserve his commitment to orderly political process, a commitment that contrasted sharply with the more apocalyptic perceptions of many of his contemporaries during the 197os and 198os. Imprisoned leaders can be supplanted by fresh generations of poli-ticians at liberty, however, and what was remarkable about Mandela’s authority was its endurance over generations and, moreover, his incorporation into an international iconography assembled by young people at the beginning of the 199os. I do not find organisational explanations for Mandela’s continuing influence very persuasive, those explanations, for example that focus on the channels of com-munications between the Robben Islanders and their followers else-where. Instead, the sources of Mandela’s appeal were then, and to an extent remain today, charismatic and cultural, to do with his apparent immortality despite or even because of his removal and absence, a product of the stories enacted by him and told about him, and the particular power of these stories to reach a multiplicity of audiences inside and beyond South Africa. His especial accessibility to a trans-national English-speaking following was the consequence of his own personification of the secular liberal values instilled in his ‘English’ schooling. Also, perhaps more importantly, it was an effect of his marriage to a remarkably talented leader in her own right who helped keep his authority in currency. In prison, especially, popular projections of his life become intertwined with Winnie Madikizela’s story, and the couple’s very public exemplification of romantic love and sexual intimacy accentuated Mandela’s appeal outside South Africa. As his former wife’s contribution to Mandela’s authority demon-strates, Mandela’s domestic or private life cannot easily be separated or compartmentalised from his political or public career. For Man-dela, the commitments and obligations that arise from kinship and community often intersect with his politics, despite his occasional efforts to resist them and notwithstanding his own self-acknowledged shortcomings as a husband and a father. Indeed he may have experienced such commitments as all the more morally compelling and the more emotionally comforting because of the disrupted history of his domestic affairs. The social connections pro¬vided by kinship networks remained important to Mandela even after his arrival in Johannesburg. Initially, of course, they supplied him with important sources of support and solidarity. Throughout his political career Mandela maintained at least a qualified sense of obligation to his aristocratic kinsfolk, despite the disapproval that this aroused among his more Jacobean comrades. His attachment to the values associated with family and clan remain evident today in his quite genuine delight on encountering children, but these values shape his politics in a much more profound way. For in Mandela’s thinking there is a tension between two sets of ideas about democracy. In many of his most formal expositions about his civic beliefs—his prepared speeches and addresses—he uses the vocabulary associated with the conventional institutions of liberal government, the ‘ordin¬ary democracy’ as Mandela has called it that organises and regulates difference, and in doing so maintains adversaries as competitors. Such professions by Mandela of his belief in liberal institutions are quite sincere. But in the same discourses there appear references to a quite different consensual model of decision-making. Here Mandela finds his inspiration in idealised recollections of pre-colonial African prac¬tice in which rulers encourage unity through presiding over dis¬cursive or deliberative practices. In this model, agreement is facilitated through a set of principles linked to ideas about obligation, to family, to friends, and to clan and nation. Mandela’s extraordinary loyalty to a political movement is partly an expression of this patrimonial associ¬ation of concepts of family, community, citizenship, and democracy.This conflation of these concepts is sometimes, although not always, evident in his political thinking and practice. In a very general sense, preoccupations about social obligations, about manners, about how people should behave, and about what is proper constitute the key concerns in Nelson Mandela’s politics. His willingness to acknowledge goodness where he finds it is a capacity that is nurtured by caring ‘about the little things in life’, to quote the words of Graca Machel, his third wife. Over and over again in this book’s narrative, Mandela draws moral and political sustenance from encounters in which everyday courtesy, consideration, and even gen-erosity soften conflict. The lessons that Mandela learned as a child about the importance of defeating one’s opponents without humiliat-ing them were deeply engrained. They shaped a politics of grace and honour that, notwithstanding its conservatism, was probably the only politics that could have enabled South Africa’s relatively peaceful transition to democracy, a transition that more than a decade later appears to have resulted in a stable constitutional order. In this book I have been able to exploit a rich range of biographical and autobiographical writing about Mandela and his contemporaries. Aside from the intellectual debts that I owe to the authors of these works, I am also grateful for other more personal kinds of help that I have received during my research and writing. For help in locating archival materials I am very grateful to: Michele Pickover, Carol Archibald, and Kate Abbott of the Historical Papers Section, Cullen Library, University of the Witwatersrand; Marcelle Graham and Diana Madden of the Brenthurst Library, Johannesburg; Verne Harris of the Nelson Mandela Foundation; and Gerrit Wage¬ner, Zahira Adams, and Natalie Skomolo at the National Archives of South Africa, Pretoria. Robert Edgar drew my attention to Mandela’s first published article as well as a file of early correspondence between Mandela and the Bantu Welfare Trust. Luli Callinicos allowed me access to the transcript of her interview with Mandela, enabling me to obtain fresh insights about his legal practice and his friendship with Oliver Tambo; Barbara Harmel’s and Philip Bonner’s interviews with Umkhonto veterans conducted on behalf of the Albert Einstein Insti¬tute’s South African Civil Society Project also constituted a major. Continue reading

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