26 October, 2021

Five Really Great Sports Books

Invictus (John Carlin)invictus4

Invictus is less about South Africa’s triumph in the 1995 World Cup than it is about Nelson Mandela’s seduction of the country’s white population. South Africa’s shift from volatility to a state in which the black population rooted as passionately as Afrikaners for the Springboks, once “a metaphor for apartheid’s crushing brutality”, was largely thanks to Mandela‘s force of personality, winning over prison guards, ministers and rugby players alike. So John Carlin, a former South Africa correspondent, tells it anyway. And if he occasionally errs on the hagiographic, the story he tells is so powerful that the odd slip is forgiven.


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