This short book packs a lot into its 151 pages of text, and doesn’t pull any punches in its chronicle of the life and family background of Benazir Bhutto, a fascinating and complex woman. It also tells the turbulent history of Pakistan, from its origins up to almost the present day, which is at least as interesting as Bhutto’s personal story.
Exceptionally charismatic, Bhutto has a mixed legacy that continues to inspire some, including Malala, the Pakistani Nobel Peace Prize winning teenager who’s an activist for female education, but Bhutto was not free from the taint of corruption and wasn’t completely what I naively expected. Her family is still active in Pakistani politics, making this book especially relevant.
The author, Brooke Allen, was able to obtain personal insights from people who had been close to Bhutto, but she also uses what she terms the “foundational research” of other writers and the book is heavily footnoted citing her sources. Eye-opening and highly readable.
I read an advanced review copy of this book supplied by the publisher. Review opinions are mine.