'As a diarist I have chronicled the time through which I have lived in meticulous detail - but all that is history. What matters now is the future for those who will live through it.
'The past is the past but there may be lessons to be learned which could help the next generation to avoid mistakes their parents and grandparents made.
'Certainly at my age I have learned an enormous amount from the study of history – not so much from the political leaders of the time but from those who struggled for justice and explained the world in a way that shows the continuity of history and has inspired me to do my work.
'Normality for any individual is what the world is like on the day they are born. The normality of the young is wholly different from the normality of their grandparents. It is the disentangling of the real questions from the day to day business of politics that may make sense for those who take up the task as they will do.
'Every generation has to fight the same battles as their ancestors had to fight, again and again, for there is no final victory and no final defeat. Two flames have burned from the beginning of time – the flame of anger against injustice and the flame of hope. If this book serves its purpose it will fan both flames.'
©2009 Tony Benn (P)2010 Random House Audiobooks
I heard this book being recommended on the radio some months ago, and although Benn was not a favourite of mine whilst he was in office, I found this book surprisingly interesting and rewarding. I even found my 18 year old lad listening to it, so as it says on the tin, it does cover the ages. Each letter is broken down into a chapter, which makes it great to listen to on short journeys or for a 5 to 10 min slot before bedtime. So Mr Benn, credit where credit is due, well done.
"Interesting selection of ideas"
This book comprises a selection of Tony Benn's views and beliefs, presented as a series of letters to his grandchildren. Through these letters, Benn discusses issues which were important to him and his generation and how these are relevant (or not) to today's younger generation.
The work is greatly enhanced by being narrated by the author which, at times, gives the impression of having a personal interview with him.
The chapters can be listened to in any order so it is also a good book to dip into at random when you feel like it.
A great story, with enough tabs just to keep it real. Should be listened to by all & then subjected to further discussion. Not easy to pick fault with, but needs adaption for it to work in today's society
"An absolute gem"
Tony Benn writes a series of letters to his grandchildren about the future challenges facing the world. His calm considered and deeply thoughtful manner contain the distillation of years at the political coal face. Whatever your own politics, you will enjoy this book.
"A wonderful benevolent listen"
A lovely book. Benevolent and moral, what else would you expect from such a man. Clear 'letters' aimed at the younger, they shed light on many political subjects that are often so murky they are barely legible. Brilliant.
Benn's integrity is an absolute pleasure and highlights how much he is/will be missed. Extremely valuable.
Well worth a listen in my opinion.
Tony Benn giving credence to the spirit of triumph over diversity and the belief that as individuals and communities we have the power to make the world a better place. As he did.
One of the most enjoyable yet educational books I've ever heard.
Tony Benn's wisdom is priceless
The book was an honest letter to his grandchildren, but in essence a letter to all of us. It is an original and thought provoking idea. Tony Benn was an amazing man.
It is like 'free at last'.
Tony is very honest and heartfelt.
The Daddy shop was quite good.
I never wanted it to end really.
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