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A new Nelson Mandela book, slim, bound in black and set in eye-straining type, looks a bit like a bible or a prayer book.

That's fitting, because the editors of "Nelson Mandela By Himself" brought something close to religious zeal to the task of choosing and checking more than 2,000 quotations to ensure the world gets the anti-apartheid icon's words right. The book was released Monday — days after U.S. first lady Michelle Obama got an advance copy signed by Mandela when she met him during a visit to South Africa.

Editors Sello Hatang and Sahm Venter work for Mandela's foundation, which oversees charity and development work on his behalf and houses some of his archives. Hatang and Venter say theNelson Mandela Foundation receives thousands of requests from researchers and others to confirm the accuracy of Mandela's quotes.

In an interview Monday, Venter said quotations frequently queried are among those collected in the book, along with others she hopes help show Mandela, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and South Africa's first black president, as a full human being.

And "you had to get in all the iconic quotes that everybody knows him for," she said.

The editors turned to speeches, notebook entries, recorded conversations and other material, some until now unpublished, for the book.

Hatang and Venter say in their introduction: "We can all honor Nelson Mandela by quoting him correctly and accurately."

The apartheid government once declared it illegal to quote Mandela. He is now, according to Hatang and Venter, among the most quoted people in the world. But they say he often is misquoted. (more)

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Article by DONNA BRYSON, Associated Press via Yahoo! | Read full article here