Peter Hain is a British Labour Party politician, who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Welsh constituency of Neath since 1991, and has served in the Cabinets of both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, firstly as Leader of the House of Commons under Blair and both Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and Secretary of State for Wales under Brown. He is currently Shadow Welsh Secretary.
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Mandela: His Essential Life chronicles the life and legacy of one of the twentieth century’s most influential and admired statesmen. Charting his development from remote rural roots to city lawyer, freedom fighter, and then political leader, Peter Hain takes an in-depth look at Mandela’s rise through the ranks of the African National Congress (ANC) and subsequent 27 years imprisonment on Robben Island, as increasingly vocal protests against the injustices of Apartheid brought his struggle against overwhelming prejudice and oppression to the eyes of the world. This book encompasses Mandela’s inauguration as South Africa’s first democratically elected president, his “retirement” campaigns for human rights, a solution to AIDS and poverty. It goes on to chronicle his later years and death. Throughout, the humanity and compassion of this extraordinary world leader shine through. The author concludes with a critical analysis of his and the ANC’s achievements, its leadership’s subsequent slide into corruption, and whether under new direction South Africa can reclaim the values and legacy of Mandela, and the `rainbow nation’ he created and led to such global acclaim.
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Peter Hain’s has been an extraordinary life. He has held an array of glittering posts in the British political firmament, from key roles in the Foreign Office and the Department of Trade and Industry, to leadership of the Commons and brokering the 2007 devolution settlement in Northern Ireland. Formerly an outsider he became an insider , as one of the government s most effective ministers. Underpinning Hains career is a tradition of political campaigning stretches back nearly four decades; the political values he holds today springing directly from the injustices he witnessed when he was growing up, and which drew him into politics in the first place. His journey to become a British Cabinet Minister started on a different continent. Growing up as a child in Pretoria, South Africa, life changed irrevocably when a close family friend was hanged by the apartheid government. Before that the security police had taken his activist parents away in the middle of the night. Later, in Britain, he was sent a letter bomb. As the eldest child, Hain was left to look after his younger brother and two small sisters. Thus began his career as a militant anti-apartheid protester. When his parents were released, the state made the lives of Peter and his family unbearably difficult. Far from the bloated memoirs of a former government insider, this is the story of a courageous, campaigning life that is intrinsically bound up with the destiny of South Africa.
PUBLICATION DATE: 23rd January 2012