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A Blaze of Autumn Sunshine (Unabridged)
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A Blaze of Autumn Sunshine (Unabridged) [Audio Download]

by Tony Benn (Author), Michael Jayston (Narrator)
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
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Product details

  • Audio Download
  • Listening Length: 11 hours and 38 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Random House Audiobooks
  • Audible.co.uk Release Date: 24 Oct 2013
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00FR6S6UI
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
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Product Description

In this final volume of diaries, Tony Benn reflects on the compensations and the disadvantages of old age. With the support of a small circle of friends and his extended family, he continues his activities on behalf of social justice, peace and accountability in public life, to a background of political change and the international economic crisis.

Following an illness in 2009 the diaries, kept for over sixty years, cease. Published here alongside these last diaries are Tony Benn¿s highly personal insights into the challenges of old age and failing health, of widowhood, and of moving out of the family home after sixty years.

Finally, we share in Tony Benn's hopes for the future based on his years of experience and his natural optimism.

©2013 Tony Benn; (P)2013 Random House Audiobooks

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of a kind 5 Nov 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a delightful, unique book possibly destined to become a future classic.

Poignant, warming and sometimes quite funny, it is, sadly, the final diaries of one of the great Parliamentarians of the age.

While I believe Benn has been mostly wrong throughout his life - on everything from lauding Chairman Mao to opposing the relaxing of licensing laws - he's always worth listening to.

Detailing the years from 2007 to present, the book has Benn stoically facing up to death, wondering whether he has been too egotistical down the years, coming up with new invention the seat-case, calling Gordon Brown a disaster, and working, working, working.

This man in his eighties would, for example, get up at 5am, walk to the tube, get a train up north, attend a few meetings, come back down to London, give a speech or two at a peace rally in Trafalgar Square, then at night attend a party for Shami Chakrabarti (while never touching a drop, of course).

He is often `very, very tired', frequently depressed (particularly in the morning) and has unending problems with his computer and his broadband.

There are all sorts of surprises: he calls the Observer rubbish - `I'd rather read The Sunday Telegraph'; David Cameron tells him he enjoyed Benn's Arguments For Democracy; he ponders whether he has been wrong about everything; he wraps 140 Christmas presents for his family.

Benn comes across as incredibly industrious, fearless, honourable and full of integrity. He cares for many people and has time for folk no matter what their politics. He loves his Parliament. The adoration he feels for his family and that they feel for him is clear, and very touching.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Last Benn Diaries 19 Dec 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As always the Benn Diaries are an enjoyable and entertaining read, even though I would recommend anyone to read and buy a copy, be prepared for an emotional rollacoaster of a journey through each page, as the various stages as chronicled by Benn of coping with creeping old age and ill health, is very upsetting including the last chapter covering his hospitalisations and the reasons now why this has meant that he now longer has the strength to keep continuing with his diaries very sad.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Hero 13 Nov 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Just when you think the good guys have all gone this comes along and renews you. Tony Benn is, was, and always will be one of, if the top, parliamentarian of our age. To give us consistent diaries since 1940 all fun of fun and thought provoking insights makes him my hero

Forget your politics and buy and read this book you will not regret it.

Amazon have provided me with many books across the years but none as good as this one.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful 10 Dec 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Very happy with this...
High quality. Good value
Have bought this item as a Christmas gift
Beautifully written again! Tony Benn is great.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars So much more to give 31 Dec 2013
I have been reading Tony Benn's diaries for twenty years or more; it's a little sad to consider that physical frailty has meant the end of his diaries when there is so much intellectual life left in the man and so much left to share. You would expect the final volume, written by a man in his eighties, to be the work of a spectator. In fact, he makes strenuous efforts to be at the centre of things by keeping his friendships with key figures in good repair, making extensive use of his Commons pass years after resigning his seat.

Because he dictates his diaries at the end of each day, before committing them to paper, this is as raw as it gets. When he forgets a name, however notable, he just leaves it in there. Because we are being provided with a largely unedited stream of consciousness as the thoughts pass through his fatigued brain last thing at night (he rises at 5 most mornings), all of the contradictions are very much on display, provoking raw reactions in the reader too, as no doubt intended. I felt frustration at the author as he reacted to the detention of a teacher, imprisoned by an Islamic regime for the naming of a teddy bear, by merely criticising the extent of the press coverage and how well the poor woman was treated in prison. No questions are asked about whether or not she was given a fair trial by a jury of her peers - of course she was not. By contrast, he campaigns tirelessly against detention without trial of terror suspects in the UK. Ours is not to ask how Sinn Fein and Hamas, both of which he champions and admires, would fare if held up to the standards he demands of a Western democracies when lamenting the decline of 'civil liberties' in the West.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really good read 16 Nov 2013
By hub301
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Frank, open, insightful and thought provoking...loved this from beginning to end. There may be some political views expressed which might not agree with every reader but the promotion of tolerance, consideration for others and love of the family shines through. Put any prejudices or ideologies to one side this is a talented and erudite man expressing thoughts on a range of issues many of which cross the political divide. Most of all the belief that the world is there for all to share and improved only through debate and discussion - not war.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Birthday Present problem solved by Amazon
I bought this book for my Son in law's Birthday and he was very pleased, I bought it at very short notice & was impressed how quickly I received it & even though I haven't read it... Read more
Published 4 days ago by Y. KING
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read.
An easy and comfortable book to read. I felt closely in touch with Tony as I remembered him to have been following on from his sad death.
A much missed and kindly man!
Published 17 days ago by Simon
5.0 out of 5 stars Just in time
Bought this for a friend who has told me that its a really great read. Once you start you can't put it down, a fascinating book by a truly great man. He will be sorely missed.
Published 18 days ago by William Rg Evans
5.0 out of 5 stars Regardless of age or political persuasion, this is an amazing book.
Tony Benn has always seemed enigmatic. A somewhat unfathomable but nevertheless charismatic man, full of contradiction. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Bookie
5.0 out of 5 stars Tony Benn
It was a present for someone, but I would like to order it for myself soon. Good quality book and fast delivery. I respect and admire Tony Benn anyway so worth the read.
Published 1 month ago by Sandra McMahon
5.0 out of 5 stars A Blaze of Autumn Sunshine
This book informed, educated me about the life of a politician in the UK, and entertained. Having not been very politically savvy in the past I am now a fan of Tony Benn, a man of... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Bryan Morrison
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
I have read all of the Benn diaries and this is the last edition up to the point he stopped keeping the diary. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Roy Leslie Ward
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Prime Minister we never had.
Simply the finest politician of the 20th Century, his diaries are always fascinating. He invariably told it how it was in his political life so why should his diaries be different. Read more
Published 2 months ago by A. Mackay
5.0 out of 5 stars Super!
Anything Tony Benn writes is most readable. This, his 'final' diary, is well worth buying and reading.... a 'must' really.. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Bawddwr
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent as always
Possibly even more interesting being so recent. A great political perspective. Very moving, too, being in his later years although hopefully NOT the last diaries!
Published 3 months ago by Philippa Harrison
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