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Songs of Blood and Sword: A Daughter's Memoir [Paperback]

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By Jennifer Cameron-Smith TOP 50 REVIEWER
In 1996, when Fatima Bhutto was 14 years old, her father Mir Murtaza Bhutto was shot dead by police outside his Karachi home. In this book, Ms Bhutto gives her account of his life as well as providing a view of the brutal and corrupt world of Pakistani politics. This is a world in which four members of the Bhutto clan have met violent deaths in just over 32 years.

`Milan Kundera once said that the struggle of people against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting; this is my journey of remembering.'

According to Ms Bhutto, her father's adult life was given to two causes. The first was to avenge the death of his father, former president Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in 1979, ousted by General Zia-ul-Haq. When General Zia-ul-Haq died in 1988, Mir Murtaza Bhutto focussed on protecting his father's political legacy from his sister Benazir Bhutto. The rivalry between Murtaza and Benazir is central to this book, and while Ms Bhutto's account of her father is affectionate and not deeply critical; the same cannot be said of her account of her aunt, Benazir Bhutto.

Mir Murtaza Bhutto left Pakistan in 1977 after the Zia regime took power, and he did not return until 1993. During his absence Benazir Bhutto became a political force within Pakistan, including a period as prime minister between December 1988 and August 1990. According to Ms Bhutto, Mir Murtaza Bhutto's return represented a threat: `it seemed as if Murtaza was the only politician speaking against the status quo, instead of lining up to join it.'

Benazir Bhutto was prime minister when Mir Murtaza Bhutto was shot in 1996, and the policemen accused of killing him were acquitted in 2009, when Asif Ali Zardari (Benazir Bhutto's husband) was president.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A daughters lament. Feb. 8 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Benazir Bhutto was assassinated at almost the same moment that my 57 year old brother, Ron, passed away from septicemia. I created a scenario where they met on the escalator to heaven and got along famously.
This book is a fascinating if not sad look at this noble family written by the woman who took the responsibility to explain how such losses could have occurred. The sad parallel with the Kennedy assassinations and the "Camelot" context occurred to me.
I personally revered Benazir Bhutto and mourned with the world when her life ended all too soon at the hands of madness.
I saw Fatima interviewed briefly and her mother would have been very proud of her.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Songs of Blood and Sword Dec 5 2012
By Reader
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Heart wrenching multi-faceted account of a political family. Personal lives and politics in a politically unstable country are documented in a readable form that would hold a lay person's as well as an academic's interest. Bhutto does not get bogged down with politics in a way that would be difficult for those not interested in politics to glean the reason she has found it necessary to tell the world how brutal politics are in Pakistan. Bhutto's loving relationship with her father is touching and memorable as are numerous characters in her memoir.
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