An Unexpected Journey: Path to the Presidency
Here Singapore’s President S.R. Nathan tells his own story, taking the reader back with him to his childhood, to modest beginnings and life as a runaway in Singapore and Malaya, and then the experience of renewed hope during the Japanese occupation. After a belated and limited university education, as well as a short spell as a social worker dealing with seafarers, he witnessed from inside the Labour Reserch Unit the birth of Singapore’s modern trade union movement. Shortly after Singapore achieved full independence, he joined the staff of the newly established Ministry of Foreign Affairs, retiring – as he thought – as Permanent Secretary. However, he did not retire. After being asked to run the Straits Times newspaper for a time, he served as High Commissioner in Malaysia and Ambassador in the United States. Few people have packed so much into a life. And then, at an age when most people are well beyond the end of their working lives, he was elected President of Singapore, in which role he has won the hearts of many people in Singapore and abroad.
About the Author
S.R. Nathan (1924-) was elected to the office of President of Singapore September 1st, 1999.
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About the Author
John Keats was born in October 1795. His Poems appeared in 1817, while Endymion was published in 1818, both to mixed reviews. In 1819 he wrote The Eve of St Agnes, La Belle Dame sans Merci, the major odes, Lamia and the Fall of Hyperion. Keats was already unwell when preparing his 1820 volume for the press; by the time it appeared in July he was desperately ill. He died in Rome in 1821, in a rented apartment next to the Spanish Steps, at the age of twenty-five. John Barnard is Emeritus Professor of English Literature at the University of Leeds and has edited The Complete Poems of Keats for Penguin Classics.
Christo Brand was a South African farm boy, born into the Afrikaans culture which had created apartheid to persecute black people and claim superiority for whites. Nelson Mandela, also raised in a rural village, was the black son of a tribal chief. He trained as a lawyer to take up the fight against apartheid on behalf of a whole nation. Their opposing worlds collided when Christo, a raw recruit from the country’s prison service, was sent to Robben Island to guard the notoriously dangerous terrorists there. Mandela was their undisputed leader. The two of them, a boy of 18 and a long-suffering freedom fighter then aged 60, could well have become bitter enemies. Instead, they formed an extraordinary friendship through small human kindnesses. Christo, a gentle young man who valued ordinary decency and courtesy, struck a chord with the wise and resilient old freedom fighter who was prepared to die to liberate his people. The African tribesman in Mandela meant that family was a priority for him, yet he had been sentenced to life imprisonment. When his mother died, he was refused permission to go to her funeral. Mandela, the oldest son whose responsibility was written in blood, wept with shame and despair. Christo was to witness that despair many times during his years as Mandela’s prison warder. When Winnie secretly brought their tiny granddaughter to Robben Island it was Christo who risked his own freedom to put the baby in Mandela’s arms. Their friendship was sealed by many such shared moments. And the bond of trust between the two men extended beyond Mandela’s prison years. As President of South Africa, he called for Christo and gave him a job in the archives department in Parliament. He invited Christo and his family into his home and advised his two sons on their careers. A few weeks before his death, Mandela made another call, to say goodbye. This book tells the story of their friendship in Christo’s words for the first time.
Explore the homes which shaped our best-loved novelist. Jane Austen is among the most widely read and beloved authors in English literature. Her novels vividly depict the society and world in which she lived with humour and sharp social commentary. Jane’s own life and emotional experiences, deeply influenced by where she lived in southern England and her travels to other parts of the country, are reflected in her works and in the importance of house and home to her characters. With newly commissioned photographs of Chawton House and Steventon Church and village in Hampshire, and a wide range of contemporary illustration, Kim Wilson explores the homes which shaped this best-loved novelist, bringing to life the domestic settings of her great works.
About the Author
KIM WILSON is a writer, editor, and gardener who lives in Wisconsin and is a longtime member of the Jane Austen Society of North America. She is the author of Tea with Jane Austen, described by Booklist as ‘perfect for Austen-reading book clubs’ and In the Garden with Jane Austen, described by House and Garden as ‘a charming book, full of interesting snippets and comment’.
Antislavery campaigner, author, diplomat and political statesmen, Frederick Douglass was one of the greatest men of his age. A former slave himself, Frederick fought publicly against slavery and was an inspiration in the fight for social and political change. Written by Amanda Mitchison, find out about this life-long battle to fight for equality. * Sapphire/Band 16 books offer longer reads to develop children’s sustained engagement with texts and are more complex syntactically. * Text type: A biography * Curriculum links: History, Citizenship