The story of Benazir Bhutto, the first woman to lead a Muslim nation, seems lifted straight from Greek tragedy. Born to privilege as the daughter of one of Pakistan’s great feudal families, she was groomed for a diplomatic career and was thrust into the political arena when her father, Pakistan's charismatic and controversial prime minister, was executed. She then led PakiThe story of Benazir Bhutto, the first woman to lead a Muslim nation, seems lifted straight from Greek tragedy. Born to privilege as the daughter of one of Pakistan’s great feudal families, she was groomed for a diplomatic career and was thrust into the political arena when her father, Pakistan's charismatic and controversial prime minister, was executed. She then led Pakistan, one of the most turbulent and impoverished nations in the world, through two terms as prime minister in the 1980s and 1990s, but she struggled to ward off charges of corruption and retain her tenuous hold on power and was eventually forced into exile. Bhutto returned to Pakistan in 2007, only to be assassinated in Rawalpindi after a triumphant speech.Including interviews with key figures who knew Bhutto and have never before spoken on the record, Benazir Bhutto: Favored Daughter illuminates Bhutto’s tragic life as well as the role she played as the first female prime minister of Pakistan. Celebrated literary critic Brooke Allen approaches Bhutto in a way not many have done before in this taut biography of a figure who had a profound effect on the volatile politics of the Middle East, drawing on contemporary news sources and eyewitness reports, as well as accounts from her supporters and her enemies....
|Title||:||Benazir Bhutto: Favored Daughter|
|Number of Pages||:||176 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Benazir Bhutto: Favored Daughter Reviews
This short book packs a lot into its 151 pages of text, and doesn’t pull any punches in its chronicle of the life and family background of Benazir Bhutto, a fascinating and complex woman. It also tells the turbulent history of Pakistan, from its origins up to almost the present day, which is at least as interesting as Bhutto’s personal story. Exceptionally charismatic, Bhutto has a mixed legacy that continues to inspire some, including Malala, the Pakistani Nobel Peace Prize winning teenager who’s an activist for female education, but Bhutto was not free from the taint of corruption and wasn’t completely what I naively expected. Her family is still active in Pakistani politics, making this book especially relevant. The author, Brooke Allen, was able to obtain personal insights from people who had been close to Bhutto, but she also uses what she terms the “foundational research” of other writers and the book is heavily footnoted citing her sources. Eye-opening and highly readable. I read an advanced review copy of this book supplied by the publisher. Review opinions are mine.
I'm definitely the wrong demographic for this. I don't have much interest in the politics of politics, nor do I seek out nonfiction as much. I thought when I got this I would get a riveting biography about someone who was monumental. Which is what I got, I guess--sans the "riveting" part. Frankly, I don't know why this book was written. The author seemed to rely heavily on Bhutto's own autobiography, as well as other works already written about the first female leader of Pakistan. It's like if George Washington wrote an autobiography, and then twenty years later someone else came along and said, "I can write it better." Plus, Benazir Bhutto just wasn't all that nice of a person. It's cool that she was the first woman leader in Pakistan, yeah. But this is one of those scenarios where I'm just like, so what? She was just as cutthroat as all the men, she flip-flopped constantly, and she was just as ruthless and just as much of a liar as all other politicians. I don't like Obama because he's the first black president, I like him because of his policies. I don't like Bhutto just because she's the first female leader; she's still just as much of an asshole as any other.
What I love most about this book is how it grapples with all the very human contradictions of Benazir Bhutto. In direct response to an earlier review here, which openly questions why this book was written about Benazir when she "wasn't all that nice of a person," I'm obviously not the author but I can say that from my perspective, the book was written because Benazir actually probably was very nice, but also very selfish. She was intelligent but also oddly dense, highly educated but caught up in odd superstitions and self-help books. She in some ways represented progress for women's rights but at the same time reinforced sexist traditions, and was ultimately both incredibly inspiring and incredibly disappointing. The world is not black and white, and while I'm sure we all wish Benazir Bhutto would have been less selfish or greedy or cruel, life rarely gives us inspirational figures without deep flaws. I also very much enjoyed the writing style and length of this book. While the book was full of interesting historical, political, and biographical information, all which gave me a great deal to think about, Brooke Allen's writing style has a lightness that still made reading this book feel recreational. I received my copy of this book through a Goodreads First Reads giveaway, but now plan to hunt down Brooke Allen's book on the Founding Fathers as well. She is a talented author and researcher, and I am eager to see how she tackles other topics.
A short biography of Bhutto which also doubles as a brief history of Pakistan. The lesson I derived from this is that (thanks to the planning of her father) Bhutto's success and fame was primarily attributable to her attending Harvard and Oxford, where she made many important friends. Otherwise, she just would have been an unknown corrupt third-world leader. I found the family dynamics (and unexplained deaths) especially interesting.There is not a lot of original research in the book other than interviews with the same friends and acquaintances from Harvard and Yale, and not a lot of in depth analysis. But as a plus it is a nice quick read that will also catch you up to speed on the history of Pakistan.
I won this book in a recent Goodreads Giveaway. This is a fascinating story of the first female leader of a Muslim country. It gives the read an insight into the corruption in governments and behind scenes dealings American conducts with other countries. A definite read for readers of history.
I won a copy of this book during a Goodreads giveaway. I am under no obligation to leave a review or rating and do so voluntarily. So that others may also enjoy this book, I am paying it forward by donating it a local library.
This brief (150 page) biography of Bhutto was very enlightening and interesting. Prior to reading this book, I had the impression that Bhutto was a kind and benign leader that strove to lift her country into democracy and out of poverty. Indeed, that is what she claimed she would do, but instead her two terms as prime minister were riddled with corruption and cronyism, and the living standard in her country actually declined. The book serves not only to shine a light on Bhutto's life, but to encapsulate the brief history of Pakistan from 1947 when the country became independent from British India up until the assassination of Bhutto in 2007.Bhutto was groomed to lead the PPP (Pakistan People's Party) and to follow in her father's footsteps and felt that she had a divine right to be in the limelight and to rule her country. She was educated at Harvard and Oxford, and as a result of her elite upbringing didn't even speak the native languages of her country. Though she was charismatic, resilient, courageous and defiant of the military regime in Pakistan, once she ascended to power she ultimately succumbed to greed and corruption. Though much of the corruption and "crass display of greed" was on the part of her husband, Zardari, she enabled everything he did. She was ousted after 2 terms and spent the rest of her life trying to regain her power and position in Pakistan The author wrote that "Benazir would be accused of having become addicted to power. It might be more correct to say that she became addicted to adulation, and if so, this return to Pakistan was a key moment in the process."Whether you're a student of history, or just interested in the rise and fall of a well known personality, you will find this a very interesting and engaging read.
This is a fairly quick read and provides information about politics in Pakistan, specifically focusing on the Bhutto family. It is not a strict biography on Benazir Bhutto, but attempts to provide background knowledge of her family and the political stage in which she rose. I found it a little confusing at times, as Allen did not describe events chronologically. In general, it the book did move chronologically, but depending on the topic of the chapter, it would often jump back to an earlier time.
Benazir is a complex woman to cover. Her ability to become the first woman Prime Minister in a country such as Pakistan is an achievement by itself. As a result she was always shown in a 'clean' light. Most politicians are either corrupted or eventually cave into corruption. I don't think Benazir is any different. I still hold her in high regard, the book shed a different light on her, a negative one which was alright. I mean we're all human, but the context wasn't deep enough. It felt like an intellectual piece of Hello! Magazine or some other gossip paperback.
Very well written, fascinatingLoved this book, Benazir Bhutto appears as a fascinating, close to greatness, but falling very short of it. Great story.