Monday, November 08, 2010

Some Autobiographies With Excerpts

Friends Not Masters - Muhammad Ayub Khan

It is a story of struggle-struggle to get new ideas accepted. Whoever presumes to act as a pioneer in the field of ideas must be prepared to face criticism and resistance. I have had a good deal of both. But my conviction of the need and validity of the changes which I have tried to bring about in the social and political life of the country remains as fervent and unfaltering as ever. We gained freedom after a long period of domination which left in its wake a legacy of old attitudes and habits. The problem was to change these attitudes and habits and to bring about a more direct and intimate awareness of contemporary realities. I venture to think we have made progress in many fields. I have not hesitated to admit failures. Progress is a long and tortuous process, full of trials and errors. 


My Early Life - Winston Churchill

The book includes an observation made upon the death of his nanny. He wrote "She had been my dearest and most intimate friend during the whole of the twenty years I had lived."[3]
The film Young Winston was based on this title.William Manchester points out in his introduction to a recent edition of My Early Life:
"...One must realize that his youth was virtually incomprehensible to most people
then alive. He had been born into the English aristocracy at a time when British
noblemen were considered (and certainly considered themselves) little less than
godlike. His grandfather was Viceroy of Ireland....These dominant forces—the
class into which he had been born—were masters of the greatest empire the
globe has ever known, comprising one-fourth of the earth's surface and a quarter
of the world's population, thrice the size of the Roman Empire at full flush. They
also controlled Great Britain herself, to an extent that would be inconceivable in
any civilized nation today. One percent of the country's population—some 33,000
people—owned two-thirds of its wealth, and that wealth, before two world wars
devoured it, was breathtaking."

Story of My Life  - Moshe Dayan

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

"Moshe Dayan" is the autobiography of a soldier who never forgot his roots as a farmer, a loner who rose to the highest echelons of government. Here he describes his kibbutz childhood, his involvement in the Jewish underground, the battles he fought as the head of a commando unit in the War of Independence, his experiences as chief of staff and mastermind of the 1956 Sinai Campaign, and his tenure as Minister of Defence during the Six Day and Yom Kippur wars. One of the greatest generals in modern history, Dayan was also a man who hated the suffering that war brings, and who loved the land of Israel more than himself. He writes of his heroes, friends and enemies, providing candid portraits of Kissinger, Ben-Gurion, Golda Meir and other notables. This is a story of a brilliant soldier who grew up to be one of the most respected and heroic figures in the Middle East.

4. Freedom In Exile - Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama's autobiography should leave no one in doubt of his humility and genuine compassion. Written without the slightest hint of pretense, the exiled leader of Tibet recounts his life, from the time he was whisked away from his home in 1939 at the age of 4, to his treacherous escape from Tibet in 1959, to his winning of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989. The backdrop of the story is the 1950 Chinese invasion of Tibet. He calmly relates details of imprisonment, torture, rape, famine, ecological disaster, and genocide that under four decades of Chinese rule have left 1.25 million Tibetans dead and the Tibetan natural and religious landscapes decimated. Yet the Dalai Lama's story is strangely one of hope. This man who prays for four hours a day harbors no ill will toward the Chinese and sees the potential for good everywhere he casts his gaze. Someday, he hopes, all of Tibet will be a zone of peace and the world's largest nature preserve. Such optimism is not naive but rather a result of his daily studies in Buddhist philosophy and his doctrine of Universal Responsibility. Inspiring in every way, Freedom in Exile is both a historical document and a fable of deepest trust in humanity. 
--Brian Bruya

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