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4.6 out of 5 stars53
4.6 out of 5 stars
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62 of 63 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 5 January 2010
As someone who has now read most of Tony Benn's material, at the outset I'm bound to say that this book is largely a re-presentation of familiar views on familiar issues. Of course, the issues themselves are still very much real, and if anything the novel way in which they are re-presented reinforces this. As for the views themselves......well, it is wonderful to see someone who is 85 playing such an active role, such a provocative role, inasmuch as he encourages us to think about good and bad, right and wrong. He himself has said that the main role of old people should be to encourage, and he does this admirably by making us engage.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 4 July 2010
What I expect from a true Elder Statesman. It's an overview of his life, with 20th century history succinctly explained and put in the context of his family and the contemporary politics. Above all, he urges his grandchildren to look ahead and to see what contribution they can make to society, as some are already doing. They are short letters, and with patches of humour, it's a joy and a challenge to read. There's great hope for the future too. It's a message I want for my own Grandchildren and I bought them one each !
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 23 July 2014
My mum bought this book for me because I have a reluctance to reading books that aren't comedy and I'm interested in politics. I already thought of Tony Benn as a hero for his policies as well as having the confidence to defend what he believed in, despite opposition from both other parties as well as members of his own party. In this poignant read, he talks passionately about his opinions on race, new Labour and the right to die. There is also a funny story at the end called "The Daddy Shop" as he felt that he was so busy attending meetings, he didn't spend enough time with his children when they were growing up. This book makes such pleasurable reading that I read it in a day. As an eleven-year-old, I feel that it appeals to children as well as adults. Benn writes in such a way that it makes you both interested in politics and him. By the end, even if you have only a slight admiration of him, you'll adore him.

Jamali Blair, aged 11
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 25 August 2010
The letters are relevant to all ages as well as to his grandchildren. They give intelligent reviews of modern life and encourage moral/political principles without being too revolutionary. Everybody should read this well-written book!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 27 January 2013
Great book by a great man and politician, talks sense which for most politicians is a rarity.
His letters make you think about what a mess we are in, but he gives you leads as to how we might redeem ourselves.
Should be required reading for all teenagers.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 10 November 2012
Tony Benn writes about the attacks on democracy which are current today. In particular, the need of politicians to be accountable to the electorate not just their party. Refreshing analysis. Politicians claiming to represent their constituents please note.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 28 February 2014
At various stages in my life a question often asked was "who would you most like to meet". Friends would say Mother Theresa, Nelson Mandela, Malcolm X. For me it was always Tony Benn. Its a travesty he never became Prime Minister. I truly believe our country would not be in this state If he had been running it. If only the next prime minister would pick up this book and take his advice. Oh well, I can dream..
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 26 December 2011
Having seen Tony Benn in conversation and with the wonderful folk singer Roy Baily I am slowly reading my way through his back catalog of publications.
I am even and more convinced this man is right and even ahead of his time.
The advice to his grand children and those who read this book is sane,inspiring, encouraging and may even improve/save our society. Here Tony Benn suggests we accept all creeds, nationalities and those with different sexuality with open arms, he tells us why.
He writes of his personal faith, which is not attached to the established church. His commitment to animal welfare through anti vivisection stance is explained here. He is also a vegetarian and explains how this simple act by each person could help provide food for the poorer countries through more grain being available.
He believes the Internet has opened up the world and is a powerful political tool that can effect change for the good.
The book is a wonderful read for those interested in changing society and our world for the better, who need a boost.
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on 31 March 2014
I have known of Mr Benn for many years, I was disappointed when he closed the Beagle Aircraft factory in Shoreham, confused by his often erratic decisions as a Minister, but I was always aware he acted from very deep conviction of his socialist faith. This book, I think, unmasks the real man for the gentle, thoughtful truly committed person he was. There is less of his political aggression, more of his kindliness and thoughtful contemplation. Here is someone who, while being passionate about the world he knew and describes it from his, sometime narrow view, but who feels deeply for ordinary people and truly cares about the future of the world. Especially he cares about the contribution his children will make and wonders about his contribution to that. I listened to the experimental audio version for the first chapter or so and here is the caring, loving, often humble grandparent passing on what he believes will be of value to the next generation, he does it sweetly, the best word I can use, as one who loves grandchildren profoundly. He is also very interesting to listen to and to read. I commend this book to those who like Tony Benn and, most of all to those who didn't but who may benefit from this insight into one of the great minds and would be reformers of the recent past. A great read and even greater source of information and insight into a very nice man. [...]
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 11 July 2010
A good book. Some sentences are difficult to understand although you understand each part, but generally the book flows well and is really thought provoking. I intend to come back to it again and again. Thank you.
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