Oct 14, 2014

Ramphal: Glimpses of a Global Life

Cover for Glimpses of a Global Life

New Book Release
Glimpses of a Global Life
by Shridath Ramphal
Commonwealth Secretary-General (1975-1990)
What World Statesmen say about:
Glimpses of a Global Life

“Sonny Ramphal ... was, by far, the ablest and most effective of all the Secretaries-General of the Commonwealth. He understood the principles which were important to the strength and unity of the Commonwealth.” THE RIGHT HONOURABLE MALCOLM FRASER, PRIME MINISTER OF AUSTRALIA (1975-1983)

“... a brilliant recollection ... of an intellectual Titan whose breadth of talents and depth of experience resulted in the summons to serve on six international Commissions.” THE MOST HONOURABLE P.J. PATTERSON, PRIME MINISTER OF JAMAICA (1992-2006)

"This is a book about tomorrow. Sonny Ramphal's "glimpses" of a recent past are powerful guides to our troubling future." THE RIGHT HONOURABLE JOE CLARK, PRIME MINISTER OF CANADA (1979-1980), SECRETARY OF STATE FOR EXTERNAL AFFAIRS (1984-1991)

“... a beautifully written and revelatory story stemming not just from his adroit use of 20th century papers released under the 30-year rule, but his description of his ancestral past and the links between slavery and indenture.” LORD DAVID STEEL OF AIKWOOD, LEADER OF THE LIBERAL PARTY, UK (1976-1988)

“Sonny Ramphal describes his vision and crafts a rich account of his service to the international community. The book provides a timely reminder of the importance of multilateral cooperation.” KOFI ANNAN, SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE UNITED NATIONS (1997-2006)

“Sonny Ramphal has written an extremely valuable book. I know first-hand of the patience and strong leadership he displayed in bringing the Commonwealth nations together for the greatest achievements in its history ... [He] recaptures the drama and colour of some historic moments accurately and well.” THE RIGHT HONOURABLE BRIAN MULRONEY, PRIME MINISTER OF CANADA (1984-1993)

“This is a beautifully written memoir composed with sharp insight and clear vision by one of the foremost statesmen of the 20th century...” IAN MCDONALD, AUTHOR AND POET

Glimpses of a Global Life
Available from: amazon.co.uk, waterstones.com, foyles.co.uk and hansibpublications.com
ISBN: 978-1-906190-92-7

Shridath ‘Sonny’ Ramphal has lived a long and global life. He is a lawyer and international diplomat who led the Commonwealth of Nations as the association's longest serving Secretary-General during its crucial years as an international player.
Leaders from every continent engaged with him as he worked alongside them on issues such as ending apartheid in South Africa; laying the foundations for global concerns about the environment; the reform of global governance; and the resolution of conflicts.
In this memoir, Ramphal tells the story of the Commonwealth’s role in ending the Unilateral Declaration of Independence of Southern Rhodesia by a minority white regime and bringing Zimbabwe to independence; of aiding the struggle against apartheid and securing its end, and the release of Nelson Mandela and South Africa’s freedom; of the obduracy of Britain’s Margaret Thatcher against sanctions and the heroic stand against her by other Commonwealth leaders – from Africa, India, the Caribbean, Canada and Australia. Ramphal replaces conjecture over these dark episodes in human history with fact.
In these ‘glimpses’, the shadows of characters such as Uganda’s tyrant, Idi Amin, are recalled, as are the enlightened spirits of others like Germany’s Willy Brandt and Nelson Mandela – all of whom Ramphal encountered in his global life.
The book is also a remarkable account of the Caribbean’s ambivalence about integration. As an insider from the formation of the West Indies Federation; its collapse; the creation of CARIFTA and CARICOM in the effort to pool the individual sovereignty of each country into a beneficial whole; and the seminal work of the West Indian Commission in charting the course for the region’s holistic development, Ramphal recounts the opportunities, the failures to act on them, and the triumphs when regional governments acted together.
US-Latin American engagements and the effort to shake off US hegemony also form part of the revealing narrative of this book including debates with US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.
The background stories behind the global Commissions of the 1980’s and engagement with Edward Heath, Gro Brundtland, Ingvar Carlsson, Olof Palme, David Owen, Salim Salim and Cyrus Vance as they all worked to manage the crucial issues of the environment, disarmament, development, and security are put into perspective in ways that light a pathway to the future.
Glimpses of a Global Life is an analysis of major problems and challenges that dominated the Caribbean, the Commonwealth and the World in the 20th century, and that continue to shape the contours of the 21st.

The launching of the book will take place in the UK at Marlborough House in London on November 6; in the US at the Organisation of American States, Washington on November 14; in Canada at Massey College, Toronto, on November 19; in Guyana at The Conference Centre, Turkeyen on November 26; in Trinidad at UWI St. Augustine on November 28; in Jamaica at UWI Mona on December 3; and in Barbados at UWI Cave Hill on December 12. The cost is 17.99 pounds sterling.

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