Edward Phillip George Seaga is one of the most outstanding Jamaican politicians - with a reputation for creativity, controversy and courage. His autobiography offers a unique insight into the emergence of modern Jamaica, a journey characterized by idealism and intrigue, conflict and triumph. The young protege of legendary National Hero, founder and leader of the Jamaica Labour Party, Sir Alexander Bustamante, Harvard graduate Edward Seaga was drawn to the roots of Jamaican folk society as a research student of the life of the poor in rural and inner-city communities. He rose dramatically through the political ranks to leadership of the JLP in 15 years, leading the party for the next 30 years. As the youngest parliamentarian, he gave notice in his signature speech on the 'haves and have-nots' that his mission was to pull up the poor without pulling down the rich - in a country with little wealth both capital and labour are mutually dependent for success. This was Bustamante's underlying pragmatic philosophy too. In 1980, the JLP stormed to election victory and Seaga became Prime Minister. His immediate task was to tackle the immense problems inherited from the Manley PNP government, a challenge that dominated Seaga's time in office. His detailed strategy for economic and social revival together with his analysis of the ongoing issues that confront Jamaica today provide the framework of this second volume of autobiography, closing with an absorbing account of Seaga's final years as leader of the JLP and the moving occasion of his farewell to the Parliament he served for so long.
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Born in 1930 in Boston, Massachusetts, Edward Phillip George Seaga grew up in Jamaica. He graduated from Harvard University in 1952. An early career in cultural anthropology leading to music promotion became subordinate to one in politics, from 1959. He served in the Jamaica Labour Party's (JLP) Bustamante and Shearer governments in the 1960s as a gifted Minister of Finance. As leader of the JLP from 1974 he served as Prime Minister from 1980 to 1989 and as Leader of the Opposition from 1974 to 1980 and 1989 until his retirement in January 2005, after 45 unbroken years in Parliament, a record unsurpassed by anyone. Since then he has pursued research as a Distinguished Fellow at the University of the West Indies, Mona, and Pro-Chancellor of the University of Technology.
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