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Michael Manley: The Biography

Michael Manley has been the subject of many books, yet he remains an enigmatic figure to even his family.
Twenty years after his passing, Jamaicans and the world remain ambivalent in their judgement of the legacy of this controversial post-independence leader who challenged the history of a complex nation as he sought to build on the legacy of politically and culturally influential parents. Now comes Godfrey Smith’s new biography of Michael Norman Manley, taking advantage of many rich and previously classified sources as he searches for the elusive soul and spirit of his subject. While many will want to focus on the turbulent decade of the 1970s and the roles played by Henry Kissinger and US ambassador, Vincent deRoulet, in the demise of Democratic Socialism and Manley’s eventual downfall, it is the multi-faceted character and mercurial personality of Manley that will leave readers in awe. From stories of his earliest childhood days and his tempestuous years at Jamaica College, through his many loves, marriages and personal tragedies, Smith reveals aspects of Manley’s personality that have evoked contrasting emotions of endearment among many and fury among others, to this day. Will history be kind to Michael Manley? Godfrey Smith leaves that judgement to his readers.

Praise for Michael Manley: The Biography

‘Thoroughly researched, balanced in its judgement and written in an engaging, uncluttered style…this long overdue biography will be required reading on Manley and the definitive first pillar against which later works will be measured’

– H. Orlando Patterson, John Cowles Professor of Sociology, Harvard

‘Smith adds a fascinating new dimension to Manley as he reveals not just the unionist and politician, the international progressive visionary and prolific writer, but also the inner man.’

– Rachel Manley, author of Drumblair: Memories of a Jamaican Childhood and Slipstream: A Daughter Remembers

‘At last, the biography of Michael Manley we have been waiting for. Godfrey Smith blends the person and the politics, the ideology and the passion…. He reveals many Manleys, all of them portrayed with subtlety and verve’

– Anthony Payne, Sheffield University, UK

Godfrey Smith served variously as Belize’s Foreign Minister, Attorney General and Tourism Minister during the years 1999-2008. He is the author of the highly acclaimed biography, George Price: A Life Revealed, which won the Bocas Literary Prize for the best work of non-fiction in 2012. Smith lives in Belize where he practises law, in between writing.

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