Beautiful educational inspiring - particularly the first section. He is a very interesting man, who in my upbringing always had an image as a kind of folk hero, and very much respected as an MP by those he worked for in Chesterfield, according to my Aunty Janet. My mum had contact with him directly and he several times through party election campaigns. He remembered her name and she was very impressed by him generally.
Having been thrilled at being sent this book by him personally after a school-girl enquiry, yet only later reading it, I was a little disillusioned and disappointed that I didn't agree with everything he said. Nor found it all interesting - but it was getting a bit out of date in relation to the specific political challenges he spoke about by the time I read it. It is a bit weird as a collection forged from other bits and pieces rather than written out in one, and collected at the end of the 70s, he looks back in review and forwards.
But the beginning chapters were so much a joy to read. And I recommend anyone to read this who is interested in the history of the Labour movement and radical thought and progressive development in Britain, politics, Christianity, religion, politics, grass-roots movements in the British tradition, Benn as a person, British History, the levellers and true diggers, social democracy, unionism, HG wells. It's all in there.
Hard left? It seems ridiculous to me now I begin to hear people attach that label to Benn and to refer derisively to 'Bennites'. I don't know how young and or naive I must be. But what the core man believes in is not the picture that many others must have. I also recommend Letters To My Grandchildren
- especially to know the man a little better.
Read Arguments for socialism and Letters to my grandchildren with an open mind.
xxx enjoy xxx