A new book that filters Nelson Mandela's thoughts into 2,200 quotes on everything from his stint in Robben Island, his presidency, the reconciliation process, and even his grief over the loss of his own son to the ravages of AIDS, was recently released. Edited by Sello Hatang and Venter Sahm, of The Nelson Mandela Foundation, which launched the book and houses the archives, said the project was inspired by the many requests for Mandela's opinions, received during the years from people from all over the world. The editors scanned his public speeches, private papers, including scribbled notes, correspondence, and audio recordings during 60 years to ensure the authenticity of the statements that appear in "Mandela by Himself: The Authorized Book of Quotations." According to the Editors, Mandela is now one of the most quoted people in the world today but it had been declared illegal to quote him during apartheid. The quotes are grouped into more than 300 categories, from Accountability" to "Zionism," including more personal themes like "Mother" and "Childhood".
First Lady Michelle Obama received a signed copy from Mandela a few days ahead of its release during her Southern Africa tour. Mandela turns 93 on July 18 amid concerns about his health after a stay in hospital in January.