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Jun 13, 2016

Attorney and Author Godfrey Smith Set to Launch Book on Michael Manley

Michael Manley

A biography of Jamaica’s fourth Prime Minister Michael Manley has been penned by well-known Belizean attorney and author, Godfrey Smith.  The life story of the democratic socialist was commissioned in late 2013 and has been long in the making.  Manley, one of Jamaica’s most popular prime ministers, comes from a rich background, including the trade union movement; he is also the son of Norman Manley.  According to Smith, he was tapped to write Manley’s biography after his daughter Rachel read the biography of Father of the Nation George Price.  Their shared love for books would later result in months of research and writing to final produce a tome that is certain to be well received by Jamaicans, as well as bibliophiles all over.

 

Godfrey Smith, Biographer, Michael Manley

“The George Price biography which I had written in 2012, came to the attention of Rachel Manley who is the daughter of Michael Manley, the subject of this latest biography.  She read it and through a mutual friend of ours, she managed to make a chance visit to Belize.  I think it was November 2013 and sooner or later we got to talking about books and she asked whether I could be interested in doing a biography of her father Michael Manley.  Naturally, I said yes because for a very long time, ever since high school I had always been interested in the more progressive-minded, some would say radical leaders of the Caribbean.  That was the genesis, that was how the germ of the idea came about.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“And how long did it take for you to research and compile all the information, biographical data, information on his career and everything to put together this particular book?”

 

Godfrey Smith

Godfrey Smith

“Research began around February 2014 and continued until December 2014 and that research involved interviews with people primarily in Jamaica.  Lots of Jamaicans, of course.  There were few interviews in Canada, in the United States, in Cuba, especially.  There were quite a number of interviews.  Barbados and Trinidad.  Separate from the interviews of course, there is the process of finding newspaper clippings, magazine articles and reading all the available books touching on the subject whether of Manley himself or of his work, some with a political slant, some with an economic slant.  Lots of this material is available through subscriptions on the internet to newspaper journals et cetera.  So that continued basically for one year and when I began actually writing, I felt confident enough to start writing chapters, not in chronological order but starting with the areas I felt most confident in.  That began late December 2014 and by July 2015 I had a first draft.  From July 2015 to December 2015 that’s the process where you put it out for peer review, you send it to people who you’d want to read and comment and that took another six months.  So the final manuscript was delivered to the publisher in December 2015 and the process of getting it to print took from that time until now.  While there is no date set for the launch of the book, it is expected that it should be in print and available by next month That’s the hope.”

 

The biography will be launched locally and in Jamaica sometime in July.

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2 Responses for “Attorney and Author Godfrey Smith Set to Launch Book on Michael Manley”

  1. Abe says:

    I saw Michael Manley at the Barnard Baruch College (CUNY) in New York City many years ago. He was small in physical stature but big on charisma…several times during his rousing speech he could not talk; he was drowned out by the hooting cacophony of the audience, especially the women. The book should be an interesting read…long live Michael Manley!

  2. Abe says:

    I saw Michael Manley at the Barnard Baruch College (CUNY) in New York City many years ago. He was small in physical stature but big on charisma…several times during his rousing speech he could not talk; he was drowned out by the hooting cacophony of the audience, especially the women. Whatever his shortcomings and he admitted as such, Manley appeared to have romantic affection for Jamaica. Long live Michael Manley!

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