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Daughter of Destiny: An Autobiographyby Benazir Bhutto
Synopses & Reviews
Benazir Bhutto's first memoir, Daughter of Destiny, comes at a time when Pakistan, and the world at large, is in turmoil and mourning over her tragic and controversial death. As the daughter of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, one of Pakistan's most popular leaders, Benazir Bhutto was the youngest person and the first woman to lead an Islamic country. Her autobiography explores her highly politicized and dramatic life as a public figure, including her educational experiences abroad at both Harvard and Oxford, her father's execution and her subsequent arrest, her election to Prime Minister in 1988, and her years spent living as an exile in London. Now with a new epilogue by Mark Siegel, her longtime adviser and collaborator, Benazir Bhutto's remarkable life story will find a strong, courageous voice once more in the aftermath of her tragic death.
Benazir Bhutto, the first woman to lead a Muslim nation, served two terms as the prime minister of Pakistan before charges of corruption resulted in her self-imposed exile. Bhutto later returned to her homeland, where she was assassinated by a sniper while waving from her motorcade upon leaving a political rally. Brooke Allen, a leading literary critic and the author of Moral Minority: Our Skeptical Founding Fathers and two collections of essays, ventures into new territory in this brief biography of a charismatic figure who had a profound effect on the politics of South Asia.
Benazir Bhutto led one of the most dramatic lives of the twentieth century. Born to privilege as the daughter of one of Pakistan’s great feudal families, groomed for a diplomatic career at Harvard and Oxford, she was thrust into the political arena when her father, Pakistan’s charismatic and controversial prime minister, was overthrown and executed by the military dictator Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq. Her remarkable rise from persecuted opposition figure to warrior for democracy and her apotheosis as prime minister (Bhutto was the first woman to lead a Muslim nation) were matched by the Grand Guignol of her downfall as she and her husband were accused of corruption on a large scale and suspected by many of engineering the murder of her oppositional brother. Bhutto’s unsolved assassination during her comeback presidential bid in 2007 added to a tragic familial legacy that easily rivals that of the Kennedy family or the house of Atreus. Brooke Allen’s biography draws on contemporary news sources and eyewitness reports as well as narratives by Bhutto herself, her supporters, and her enemies.
Daughter of Destiny, the autobiography of Benazir Bhutto, is a historical document of uncommon passion and courage, the dramatic story of a brilliant, beautiful woman whose life was, up to her tragic assassination in 2007, inexorably tied to her nation's tumultuous history. Bhutto writes of growing up in a family of legendary wealth and near-mythic status, a family whose rich heritage survives in tales still passed from generation to generation. She describes her journey from this protected world onto the volatile stage of international politics through her education at Radcliffe and Oxford, the sudden coup that plunged her family into a prolonged nightmare of threats and torture, her father's assassination by General Zia ul-Haq in 1979, and her grueling experience as a political prisoner in solitary confinement.
With candor and courage, Benazir Bhutto recounts her triumphant political rise from her return to Pakistan from exile in 1986 through the extraordinary events of 1988: the mysterious death of Zia; her party's long struggle to ensure free elections; and finally, the stunning mandate that propelled her overnight into the ranks of the world's most powerful, influential leaders.
About the Author
Benazir Bhutto was the prime minister of Pakistan from 1988 to 1990 and from 1993 to 1996, and the chairperson of the Pakistan Peoples Party. Born in 1953 in Karachi, Bhutto was the first woman ever to lead a Muslim state. She lived in exile since 1999 and had returned to Pakistan in October 2007, two months before her assassination.
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