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on May 17, 2008
Benazir Bhutto, mother, first Woman and two-time Prime Minister, and life-long Pakistani patriot, sets forth her version of Pakistani history here - at least the history during her and her father's reign. Her version is a private chronicling of her public life; her educational years; and her years incarcerated, under house arrest, and in exile.

It is often laced with bitter memories and understandable bitterness expressed towards the murderer of her father, ex-President Zia-ul-Haq; towards those who were responsible for her incarceration, which lasted for a total of about seven years. She also has many equally unkind things to say about the viciousness of Pakistani internal politics, although the role her family played in making it so is carefully omitted.

On balance, her outlook and the book are generally upbeat. She never completely loses faith in, or gives up on the hope and the dream that Pakistan can turn itself around and become the kind of open democracy she envisioned it to be, and which, almost with an obsession, that ended in her death, she seemed bent on leading it to become. Agreeing to an arranged marriage to a Pakistani playboy, she admits to being not much of either a mother, or a wife: politics remaining her primary preoccupation throughout her adult life.

In the wake of her assassination, her autobiography seems to have served as part of the national mourning process, at least for her followers and admirers. And while this book, her autobiography, naturally portrays her as the national hero that she surely is, we all know that her reign as leader of Pakistan was not without its own problems and was itself beset with many intrigues. None of this is mentioned in the book. One hopes, that in due course, a more definitive and a more balanced account of Pakistani history covering the period of her and her family's reign, soon will be forthcoming. Four Stars
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Benazir Bhutto, on the brink of a political comeback against the odds in several ways, was assassinated after a political rally on December 27, 2007. Bhutto is an impressive figure from a prominent political family, whose history includes several untimely deaths -- her own father, a Prime Minister of Pakistan, was killed in a coup in the 1970s; her brothers were killed in suspicious circumstances. Now Bhutto herself has been lost, and likely the aftermath will continue in different ways for some time to come, both internally to Pakistan as well as internationally.

Bhutto's strongest claim to fame in history will be that she was the first female Prime Minister of a Muslim nation, an accomplishment unlikely to be achieved in any other Muslim nation any time soon (even nations such as Turkey, which are officially secular). Her rise in some ways paralleled that of Indira Gandhi, who also gained political power in large part from the family reputation bestowed upon her initially. Bhutto, however, was no mere figurehead for her family or her party. Educated at Oxford and Harvard, she had a good intellect and a keen understanding of the world.

This book details Bhutto's feelings and memories of her family, her growing years, and the struggle to the point of her first election as Prime Minister (she would go on to be re-elected after being deposed, and then spend many years in exile in the West). This is not dissimilar to the kinds of books that every American presidential candidate feels obliged to publish - part policy, part history, part wish-list. Still, it is one of the rare books we have on Bhutto, and (at least partially) by Bhutto. As such, it is worthy to be read. How it will compare to the upcoming autobiography (due to be released in April 2008) will be interesting.
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on October 13, 1998
Benazir Bhutto is a striking personality-she is both hated and loved in Pakistan, very much Indira Gandhi on a somewhat smaller scale. Her autobiography begins with her reaction to her father's death-Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was hanged by General Zia ul-Haq after a military coup and the pleadings of the world community. Throughout the book, Benazir paints Zia as the ultimate devil, the evil that consumed Pakistan and sent her family into prison or death. The book is extremely melodramatic in tone, but to me it was quite appealing-not as a portrayal of Mrs. Bhutto's personality but rather as another testament in the mixed reviews of her reign. The book ends with the votes about to be cast in her favor-and they did. Benazir was elected to two terms, but was dismissed by Pakistan's President and replaced by political rival Nawaz Sharif. She has been accused of financial laundering and at one time had an arrest warrant placed on her in Pakistan. Though her character is now under question, Benazir Bhutto still remains a well-spoken, articulate voice, and there is no better reflection of these qualities than in DAUGHTER OF DESTINY. She speaks without much bitterness-there is only moderate waxing of effluvium about the cruel fates her early destiny went through. Though, not having experienced life in Pakistan under her rule as Prime Minister, I cannot form any political or personal view towards Mrs. Bhutto, one thing is clear to me-she has the ability to make her voice heard. Whether or not she is 'defending' American airstrikes against the Taliban in Afghanistan or speaking of how she believes her brother's shooting death was related to a conspiracy to remove the 'Bhutto factor from Pakistani politics', Benazir has an articulate and clear voice. Now if only her morals and character were so lucid.
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on June 29, 1997
At first, the book seemed to evoke a certain sense of sympathy from the reader as Benazir seemed to suffer a great deal from the Martial Law regime. However, seeing her in office twice, has raised serious credibility issues. In my opinion the real oppressor of Pakistan was not General Zia but ASIF ALI ZARDARI, who has "sucked" every penny from the Treasury and left more than 120 million people to starve
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on October 28, 1997
Exciting book, really interesting story. Just read this book as three different ways (always linked)to target to the power: Ms Bhutto riformist way, the mother's bureaucratic way, the brother's revolutionary. And read Rushdie's Shame before or immediately after.
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on October 16, 2008
This is an extraordinary re-evaluation of the political history of Pakistan through the lens of the Bhutto's family. It describes with literary paintings the primacy and legacy of political violence that has made Pakistan very prominent in world news, during the last four decades. Next, it is a brush up of Benazir's own political heritage. The book is best suited for an introduction in 'modern' Pakistan's political history for beginners: it provides a literal analysis of the key stakeholders in the political arena from a historical perspective; it presents the country's geopolitical stakes and how it became source of domestic vulnerability. Benazir, furthermore, reminds us of the stiffled potential of social and democratic capital. She made the case that even in times of great frustration and fear, the Pakistanese people have always clinched to the virtues of democracy and freedom. Those values are not the result of a particular cultural setting or of its imitation by tiers, but the very human aspiration that has always existed deep in the political intinct of all people--Pakistanese people are no less and no greater category in this regard. The book facilitates the understanding of what it means to be son, daughter, mother, father, citizen, soldier and leader in Pakistan's political world. Is it different from other experience: Benazir's answer is 'yes, fundamentally'. She demonstrated with amazing persuasion that playing a role within or closer to the political business comes at high costs and overwhelming sacrifices in Pakistan. Being political leader in 'modern' Pakistan equates pursuing an objective agenda under constantly shifting parameters and among self-declared Leviathans.

The other aspect of the book is the account of the life of a muslim woman, an authentic come-what-may maverick of our times, who challenged popular beliefs and was undeterredly dedicated to playing a major political role in an environment thoroughly fraught with uncertainties and ostansibly defined by a high probability of personal casualties.

Cyril Fegue
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on October 1, 2012
An impressive and extensive account of her trials and tribulations, including the execution of her father as former Prime Minister of Pakistan, the poising of her brother Shah Nawaz, and the killing of her other brother Murtaza. Benazir Bhutto had spent significant time in prison for opposition to the dictatorial Zia ul-Haq, and tragically was assassinated upon her return home to Pakistan in 2007. Twice Prime Minister of Pakistan herself, and an advocate of women's rights, religious tolerance, and a more moderate and democratic understanding of Islam, her voice has been silenced by extremists, but perhaps her legacy lives on. This is a good book, and extensive. Those interested in her life or in Pakistan should read it.
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on December 23, 2010
This is a fantastic read and opened my eyes to the plight of the people in Pakistan. No matter what side you choose in the book, this is well written and an insightful view from one perspective.

It is partcularly interesting for people outside of Pakistan to gain knowledge of the political past of the country and it would be interesting to read opinions and stories told by opposition leaders in the Pakistani political arena.

No matter whether or not you side with Bhutto, there is no doubt that she fought and suffered long and hard for what she believed in, an inspiring woman and a great read. Well worth it, I couldn't put it down.
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on September 5, 2008
This is a wonderful book about an impressive woman. I've learned so much about the Pakistani culture. It's helped me to better understand the way this Moslem country thinks. This book has pointed out more strongly than ever that not all Moslems want violence and that there are many good people out there trying to fight against extremists who are trying to dominate the many middle eastern/asian countries.

Daughter of Destiny: An Autobiography
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on August 12, 2014
Benazir Bhutto is a woman I have always admired. She was a dedicated, courageous, brilliant woman who never deviated from her beliefs.
After suffering so many years confined to prison and pursued and threatened by her own Government she succeeded in many endeavors before being assassinated by her countrymen. Her legacy lives on. I could cry every time I think about her.
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