Keith Staskiewicz
March 19, 2010 AT 04:00 AM EDT

This year marks the 20th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s release from prison. To commemorate the event, Stengel has just published Mandela’s Way, a collection of 15 lessons he learned from the venerable leader. Stengel, who co-wrote Mandela’s memoir, hopes that the book will remind readers how brilliant and complex the Nobel Prize winner is: ”He’s been Santa Claus-ified, and as a result, we don’t think of him as a man of nuance, but he really was.” The lessons that Stengel cites range from social to political to ethical. Still, the single best piece of advice he ever received from Mandela was a little more personal: ”Well, he told me to marry my wife. He always told me that. That’s pretty good, right?”

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