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Letters to My Grandchildren: Thoughts on the Future

by Tony Benn - £8.99  Arrow Books Ltd (2010)
paperback    ISBN 13: 9780099539094 | ISBN 10: 0099539098

"As a diarist I have chronicled the time through which I have lived in meticulous detail: but all that is history. What matters now is the future for those who will live through it.

The past is the past but there may be lessons to be learned which could help the next generation to avoid mistakes their parents and grandparents made.

Certainly at my age I have learned an enormous amount from the study of history not so much from the political leaders of the time but from those who struggled for justice and explained the world in a way that shows the continuity of history and has inspired me to do my work.

Normality for any individual is what the world is like on the day they are born. The normality of the young is wholly different from the normality of their grandparents.

It is the disentangling of the real questions from the day to day business of politics that may make sense for those who take up the task as they will do.

Every generation has to fight the same battles as their ancestors had to fight, again and again, for there is no final victory and no final defeat. Two flames have burned from the beginning of time the flame of anger against injustice and the flame of hope. If this book serves its purpose it will fan both flames."
(Tony Benn)
Tony Benn's twin messages - of hope, and of anger against injustice - have always appealed to the young and idealistic, even to those who don't share his political beliefs. As Peter Hennessy wrote, 'what is special about him is his constant curiosity about why things are as they are, why they have to be that way and what he can do about them.'

In these letters to his ten grandchildren and their generation, Tony Benn uses his enormous experience of life to encourage them to question everything as they cope with the challenges they will face. Written with affection and respect, his is the hope that this book will inspire young people to reject the pessimism and cynicism that are so prevalent today, and above all to have confidence in themselves.

(Price & availability last checked: November 2018)

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