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This chapter seeks to distil the lessons learned from Nelson Mandela about reconciliation, forgiveness, diplomacy, and leadership. It also describes the transactional political culture that led to an extraordinary faith in the potential of negotiations to resolve conflicts that once seemed irreconcilable. It portrays Mandela as a politician who made the profession seem noble, but who knew when and how to compromise. To many observers, he was premodern in that he was very much a product of the tribal tradition of a chief accountable to his people, making them all feel important and representing them with great dignity and a regal bearing. Yet he was also postmodern in that he had a brilliant sense of texture and timing, and knew instinctively how to work a room or flatter an adversary. He also benefited from a seductive smile, an intimate handshake, and a disarming charm.

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