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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The good will speak out
Fatima Bhutto gives a coruscating account of the recent history of Pakistan and the major role of the Bhuttos within it. Driven by the murder of her beloved father Mir Murtaza she tells about the first democratically elected Prime Minister in Pakistan , her Grandfather Zulfikar Al Bhutto . Zulfikar was deposed during his first term by a General of the Army Zia and later...
Published on 23 Feb 2012 by paperbackliker

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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A promising first work
Fatima Bhutto is a young , beautiful and opinionated pakistani columnist who also happens to be the niece of Benazir Bhutto , twice the prime minister of Pakistan and eventually assaninated during a campaign rally back in 2007 . She has just released a very uneven book about her father , Murtaza Bhutto who was gunned down under mysterious circumanstances back in 1996...
Published on 1 Jun 2010 by giovanni


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The good will speak out, 23 Feb 2012
This review is from: Songs of Blood and Sword (Paperback)
Fatima Bhutto gives a coruscating account of the recent history of Pakistan and the major role of the Bhuttos within it. Driven by the murder of her beloved father Mir Murtaza she tells about the first democratically elected Prime Minister in Pakistan , her Grandfather Zulfikar Al Bhutto . Zulfikar was deposed during his first term by a General of the Army Zia and later executed. Zulfikars sons, Mir Murtaza and Shahnawaz left for exile to ferment an armed revolution in response. After Zia was killed in airplane crash Benzaire Bhutto positioned herself to become the first female Asian prime minister. In what should have been a restoration of democracy and human rights instead became decent into corruption political violence and autocracy that included a bitter and ultimately lethal persecution of her brother Mir Murtaza. Fatima is candid especially about the faults of her Grandfather as prime minister, the political prisoners and the beginnings of the erosion of women rights and dictatorship of Zia and inexplicably the deeper corruption and political violence meted out under Benzaire's rule. This is a tremendous book of courage where she has managed to present the facts as an outside champion for liberty as her father was but also an insider in this complex political dynasty. It is painful to read her as she describes her aunt Benzaire's life and death. The complexity of the emotion as another Bhutto is killed and her persecutor is removed. There are only moments when I felt her own self criticism of naivety and hagiography were true. She doesn't see the extent that all the Bhuttos were feted by the west. All the Bhuttos winning scholarships to Harvard and Oxford on merit doesn't seem credible. Her uncle's death Shahnawaz by suicide is not reasonably in question. A thunderous family row, drink and accessible poison make this by far the likely explanation. She also underestimates the brutalization of Benzaire in Pakistan while the brothers were posturing as revolutionaries. What happens to the brutalised is they become brutalizes in turn. This doesn't excuse but explains to an extent the creature Benzaire became. Her father's decision to apparently shoulder the opposition to Benzaire/Zinardi rule appeared to be ill advised. These small caveats aside this is an important well told story that needed to be told. I was tempted to read Benazaire's Daughter of the East autobiography again but this is enough time for one family and I think Fatima would agree.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A promising first work, 1 Jun 2010
Fatima Bhutto is a young , beautiful and opinionated pakistani columnist who also happens to be the niece of Benazir Bhutto , twice the prime minister of Pakistan and eventually assaninated during a campaign rally back in 2007 . She has just released a very uneven book about her father , Murtaza Bhutto who was gunned down under mysterious circumanstances back in 1996 outside his home in Karachi.
The book itself is indeed " a love letter " to her father , as the writter herself has said in an interview and a hateful letter to her late aunt for whom she finds flaws to point out even while Benazir was still a teenager .
Fatima's world seems to be strictly split between the good guys ( her father , his friends and allies , her grandfather and strangely enough the chinese and Hafez al Assad's Syria ) and the bad guys ( mainly Benazir Bhutto and the americans ) . Murtaza Bhutto is presented here as the perfect man , the perfect politician , the perfect father , the perfect husband and even the perfect boyfriend in the case of Della Garoufalis , a woman married to a jailed general of the failed greek junta. " I had to understand why he went to Kabul . It was a decision which changed our lifes " writes Fatima but never is she willing to question anything about her father's actions , even his decision to take up arms .
I have not lived in Pakistan so i don't know which Bhutto had more influence to the pakistani people or was more righteous or honest but having read many interviews of all of them on the web and seen speeches of theirs on youtube , i can say all three public figures of the family ( Benazir , Murtaza and their father Zulfiqar ) seemed to excel in a typical populist rhetoric which promises much more than can be delivered .
The best parts of the book is when Fatima talks about her own thoughts and feelings and comments on the present .The final two chapters of her book are haunting , the epilogue just beautiful . As a political analysis of her country's past though , it feels too one-sided .
The last few years , Pakistan is constantly making the news for all the wrong reasons and i feel it needs people exactly like her , bright and brave , to speak out and introduce to the world the pakistani point of view of things . A great book by her is only a matter of time .
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5.0 out of 5 stars amazing book, 15 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Songs of Blood and Sword (Paperback)
recommended to all of you to read, amazing writing way and hopeful that she comes up with another book. Thank you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars good book., 29 Dec 2013
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it gave a good review of history and how things happened during the Bhutto era in pakistan. Gives people.. very touching and i have read it about 5 -6 times ...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read, 12 Dec 2013
Well written history on the Bhutto family. Interesting angle of the time of zia in Pakistan and the corruption of governments that followed.
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16 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HISTORY IS SHYLOCKIAN IN NATURE, 4 April 2010
By 
Swapan Seth "Luxeist" (New Delhi, India) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
History is Shylockian in nature. It demands its pound of flesh. It requires certain debts to be paid. And sometimes, it asks for it through a book.
I have been a lifelong admirer of the Bhutto family. Barring the odd rotten apples.
The cloistered corridors of Pakistan and its dictatorial demeanours have prevented many from knowing what happened to the Bhuttos.
Of course,one always gathered the bits and pieces, but never the entire tale.
Fatima Bhutto's " Songs of Blood and Sword" is a book that i waited for far too long.
So when it was delivered to me hot off the shelves last night, I decided to devour it beginning 6 am this morning.
The book is Fatima's repayment of a debt to her father. Infact, perhaps just not to her father but to an entire Nation. I daresay even the world.
It essays the journey of a family whose political legacy has ultimately just been personal tragedy.
Fatima continues to live in Karachi.
And therefore to be able to author a book while being part of a regime that is ruthless and selfish, requires a courage of a different order.
Fatima has her father's fearlessness and fairness.
Her book also reflects a certain candour and conviction that is not necessarily encouraged in societies like Pakistan.
The book is peppered with wonderful moments. For instance, the grief that overtakes Murtaza upon the demise of his brother Shahnawaz.
She describes the relationship between the brothers in a manner that prompted a tear: " They were so different, but direct complements of each other. Where Shah was spontaneous, Murtaza was patient; when Shah was melancholy, Murtaza was hopeful. They were more than just brothers tied by blood, they were comrades. Companions."
Tomorrow as I will walk up to Fatima to get my personal copy autographed by her, this is what i would like her to write for my two sons.
Thank you Fatima for a splendid morning.
I always believe there is only one good book in an author's life.
Fatima is blessed to have written it as she stands at the footmat of her thirties.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars thumbs up., 23 April 2010
By 
S. Ahmed (taxila cantt ,pakistan) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
if you are intrested in bhutto family history and what went in the minds of people that belonged to bhutto family . its both historic and also filled with tragedy . you can say the rise and fall of a family that has influnced pakistan for so long .you can compare gandhi family with bhutto family . but the most thing i like about the book is the way fatima bhutto has written this book . i first started reading columns of fatima bhutto when lebanon -israel conflict was going on . i will say just one thing to fatima " keep it up ,you are doing a great job .the country of pakistan need leaders like you who could guide pakistan to prosperity . and not like zardari who cant even register a fir against the death of her wife . and i dont expect he ever will . like safdar abbasi and naheed khan said " He has his personal agenda."
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A readable but flawed vision, 17 Jun 2010
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I enjoyed this book not least because I've met quite a few of the key players. Fatima Bhutto writes well and the process was, apparently both cathartic and painful for her. She deserves praise for her courage to go on this journey. It's an interesting social history of a small and priviliged class in Pakistan with an abiding sense of entitlement and a strong patrician attititude towards the millions of have-nots. She is less sure-footed in setting the geopolitical context. It should be read with two important caveats: the first is that it presents a partial view of the story. Bhutto struggles to present a balanced view of her extraordinary family's special place in this small, frail and ultimately failed experiment in statehood. But ultimately falls down because her view is partial, intensely personal and she has insufficient insight into the military-industrial comples which, ultimately, runs ther country. She is also curiously myopic when it comes to judging her father's idealistic but ultimately flawed world-view. Like many romantic socialists he failed to see that socialism, let alone Marxism, was the wrong antidote to what ails Pakistan and totally alien to the cuture of all but a few Western (and Eastern)educated upper middle-class Pakistanis. Second she pulls her punches when it comes to describing the depressing descent into predictable corruption and indifference of a ruling class ( Benazir in particular, Benazir of ALL people with her extraordinarily privileged education and keen mind) who lined their pockets while failing to take on the appallingly cyncial and narrow-minded generals whose only interest is power, stoking anti-Indian demonology and appeasing the frankly medieval social practices of a large part of this male-dominated society. Which is a pity because the country is beautiful and full of energy and potential. Still, for students of Pakistan ( or Afpak) it's worth reading.
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6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars bhutto fantasies and non-sense, 26 July 2010
When I first got the book, I thought that for a change, a Bhutto could talk about their past with impartiality and without any of the self-centered fantasies and legends they like to convey to continue hanging on to power by making fools of hard working party workers. Unfortunately, none of that transpired in this book. Fatima naturally has a great admiration for her grand dad and dad, but given who she is, it would have been an impossible task for her to neutrally review their achievements from a critical angle (no mention of Zulfikar's destructive and autoritarian populist stances, the irreparable impact on Pakistan of his nationalization program and his key role in splitting Pakistan in two). As for her Dad, read Raja Anwar's "terrorist Prince" if you'd like some less biaised insight into who he actually was. Fatima's bias against Benazir is obvious and doesn't allow for a fresh and neutral portrait of Benazir or Zardari either (they do not need defending of course given the damage they both caused and continue causing to Pakistan nevertheless). Ironically, Fatima carries with her a lot of the flaws that most of the Bhutto "heirs" (Benazir etc) have over the years. Let's hope she never gets into politics as it could only be damageable to Pakistan.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, 16 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Songs of Blood and Sword (Paperback)
One of the best books I've read in quite a some time. A great read - fascinating and heart whelming.
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Songs of Blood and Sword
Songs of Blood and Sword by Fatima Bhutto (Paperback - 7 April 2011)
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