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Daughter of the East: An Autobiography Paperback – April 28, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (April 28, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847390854
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847390851
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.1 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,822,383 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Benazir Bhutto served twice as Pakistan's Prime Minister, from 1988 to 1990 and 1993 to 1996. She is now based in Dubai, from where she makes regular trips around the world giving lectures.

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Pakistani graduate student on April 14, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Benazir Bhutto's tale of her youth and political career in Pakistan is eloquent and engaging as a narrative, surprisingly readable, with an almost fictional quality. However, it is precisely these dream-like allusions that make a reader who is more knowledgeable about politics and social hierarchies in Pakistan wonder about the reliability and motives behind her portrayal of Pakistani leaders.
Recounting the personal tragedies and difficulties experienced by the Bhutto family, Benazir is stirring and emotive, inspiring empathy in her readers. But she paints a disturbingly naive and idealised picture of her own family. The Bhuttos appear as eternal victims of cruel and unrelenting dictators, who stifle the voice of the people, unwaveringly embodied in the form of a Bhutto (first her father, followed by her mother, and then Benazir herself). References to the fuedal landowning family's power, status, nobility and wealth are scattered throughout Benazir's text, and make one wonder if she wouldn't be better off using the argument of divine right, rather than popular mandate, to justify her family's claims to leadership of Pakistan.
On the whole, the book is worth reading but I recommend it be done with a pinch of salt. It is evident that Benazir Bhutto belongs to an elite amongst the various Pakistani elites. I find it more than a little paradoxical and hypocritical that she is able to combine her membership in one of South Asia's "ruling families" with so ardent a conviction that hers was the true and democratically determined voice of the Pakistani people.
With the benefit of hindsight, and the knowledge that Benazir did not live up to her political ambitions to serve the "masses" in either of her two terms as Prime Minister, the rhetoric of "Daughter of the East" seems a rather bitter pill to swallow.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By T. R. Santhanakrishnan on May 13, 2007
Format: Hardcover
In his book "Prisoner without a name and cell without a number" Jacobo Timerman says that oppressed population go through three stages during the course of oppression: anger, fear and apathy. For "anger and fear" Pakistan did not have to look beyond General Zia-ul-Haq. For apathy they did not have to look beyond Benazir Bhutto.

Benazir, in 1988, was Mannah coming down from heaven for Pakistan.

She was the first born of the elite aristocratic Bhutto family. (Charles Napier, famous for his "Peccavi - I have Sinned" pun writes that Bhutto landholding was so extensive that he would travel for hours in Sind and yet be in Bhutto land). She went to Radcliffe and later to Oxford. She was the first woman president of the Oxford Union.

Young Benazir, 23 when her father was murdered by Zia, was kept in prison by Zia for several years. Undaunted by all this, she provided leadership to PPP, her political party. When allowed to go out of Pakistan in 1984 she continued to run the party from her Barbican apartment in London.

In 1986 she decided to return courageously to Pakistan when Zia was in rule. Despite military rule and "big brothers" watching, people gave her a welcome that no political leader could ever rival. She continued to whip up her agenda for bringing democracy back to Pakistan for the next two years.

1988 proved to be a turning point for Pakistan and Bhutto. Zia's role for Pakistan to be a frontline state in the war against communism proved to be temporary. Zia's role for Pakistan to be a frontline state in evangelizing Wahabi Islam proved to be permanent. Zia died in an air accident. Benazir Bhutto became the first woman PM of Pakistan when she was just 35 yrs.

Until this time her life is a story that inspires.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Paul Dsouza on November 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Benazir Bhutto, is not only the first woman to have led a post-colonial Muslim state, she has also achieved that status of "political royalty" something like that of the Kennedy family in the US or the Gandhi family of India. Hers is a life that has been full of theatrics... the hanging of her father, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, education at Harvard and Oxford, becoming Prime Minister, her life in self-imposed exile, her "deal" with President Musharraf as well as the recent attempts on her life. This particular autobiography is "dated" and needs substantial material to make it relevant to the present day context of Pakistan but is an interesting read nonetheless. Benazir's book shows that she's a tough lady and a fighter!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jamal Nazir on July 5, 2000
Format: Hardcover
BeNazir Bhutto is a former Prime Minister of Pakistan. Her father Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was elected Prime Minister in early 1970's. The military dictator Gen. Zia, who ruled Pakistan until 1987 when his plane crashed, hanged him. Miss Bhutto coherently elucidates the events surrounding her father's unjust death and the struggle for reclaiming the government. I would suggest this book for the readers who want to have first hand accounts of Martial law on the country as whole and a family, which has lost most of its members in the unmerited war of politics.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Carolyn Longacre on January 23, 2008
Format: Paperback
Out of print, never received. Hard to rate if I have not read it.
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