Autobiography of Sir James Mitchell: Beyond the Islands: James Mitchell: An Autobiography

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9781405014175: Autobiography of Sir James Mitchell: Beyond the Islands: James Mitchell: An Autobiography
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Leading us confidently across the world from the Caribbean and the Americas to Europe, and on to Africa and Asia, Sir James's intriguing story tells a tale of a young agronomist and hotelier who became arguably the greatest leader his country has ever had, serving four terms as Prime Minister and winning elections in his own constituency nine times. On good terms with world figures as politically diverse as Mrs. Thatcher and Fidel Castro, he supported the US invasion of Grenada, but waged the Banana Wars against the US, sparring with Presidents Bush Sr. and Clinton, in an effort to regain a fair share of the lucrative banana market for the Caribbean. His charm is legendary, and we can sense in this book how key it was to his success in leading his own small archipelago out of hard times to prosperity, and a place on the world stage. His enduring legacy at home includes founding the New Democratic Party and ushering in a successful land reform program, creating a property owing democracy. Throughout, Sir James displays his robust, uncompromising attitude to the problems of small island states in a globalized world of powerful countries and ruthless multinationals. He shares with us his experiences of being an almost penniless hitchhiker in Europe in the 1960s to leading observer missions to monitor historic elections in Nicaragua and Hungary and to sailing in the Grenadines with Pierre Trudeau and Prince Charles and picnicking with Princess Margaret. These eminently readable and enjoyable memoirs will be of interest to anyone wishing an insider's view of Caribbean political life as well as those international affairs taking place - beyond the islands.

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Review:

"Beyond the Islands is timely, essential, informative and entertaining. It belongs in every home in the Anglophone Caribbean and its Diaspora." --Herman Hall, Everybody's Magazine

"There are some vivid images here that help to sum up the man. The prime minister happily tending the bar at his Frangipani hotel, to the disbelief of passing yachties. The prime minister phoning Buckingham Palace to offer moral support at times of royal distress." --Jeremy Taylor, Caribbean Beat

"Whatever one's political bent, this book should provide interesting reading. It gives an insight into the human family man as well as into the politician. It does not attempt to indoctrinate or convince one of a particular political ideology it simply tells the story of the life of a man; the circumstances, experiences and decisions which came together to propel him beyond the islands and onto the international stage." --Claudette Beckford-Brady, Jamrock Magazine

"Exhilarating and unique - that's Mitchell's autobiography in a nutshell. There isn't another book like this one, with its tales of smuggling and illicit imports, bribery and intimidation, political shenanigans and globe-trotting, girlfriends and private discussions with Margaret Thatcher, John Major and the Queen." --Brian Ford, Biologist

"Whatever one's political bent, this book should provide interesting reading. It gives an insight into the human family man as well as into the politician. It does not attempt to indoctrinate or convince one of a particular political ideology it simply tells the story of the life of a man; the circumstances, experiences and decisions which came together to propel him beyond the islands and onto the international stage." --Claudette Beckford-Brady, Jamrock Magazine

Synopsis:

Sir James Mitchell's autobiography provides an intriguing insight into his long and eventful career at the forefront of Caribbean politics. During the thirty-five years that he was a Member of Parliament of the Grenadines, at the time of retirement Sir James had been the longest serving Prime Minister in the Caribbean, having spent eighteen years as the head of government, and the only one to have served from Colonialism through Statehood and Independence. In addition to this he was the only leader who founded a political party, and retired from office after winning four consecutive general elections.

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