Patrick Manning biography to be launched on June 9

A BIOGRAPHY of late prime minister and PNM leader Patrick Manning will be launched on June 9. The book’s author, Prof Emerita Bridget Brereton, says readers can expect to learn about “a patriotic man who helped to shape his nation in many ways.”

The book, Manning: Faith and Vision, will be launched at the National Academy for the Performing Arts at 5 pm. Manning died on July 2, 2016 of acute myeloid leukaemia, at 69. He had suffered a stroke in 2012.

He first served as prime minister from 1991-1995, but lost the election the following year to the UNC under late leader Basdeo Panday. Manning became prime minister again from 2001-2010. But after he called a snap election in 2010, he again lost to the UNC, this time under its current leader, Kamla Persad-Bissessar.

During his stints as prime minister, he introduced free tertiary education under the GATE (Government Assistance for Tuition Expenses) programme and made housing more accessible, built the Waterfront Complex, among other achievements.

The Parliament’s website says Manning, who was born and raised in San Fernando, had a degree in geology from UWI, Mona, in Jamaica. It adds he began his political career in 1971, at 24, as a candidate for San Fernando East, which he won and retained for years. The website adds, “Manning was appointed a parliamentary secretary in ministries ranging from Works and Transport to Industry and Commerce, and Petroleum and Mines. He became a full-fledged minister in 1981 holding the industry and commerce, and information portfolios, then energy and natural resources.
“Mr Manning is well-respected in the international community for his vision as a new-style Caribbean leader bent on having TT not only grow to developed country status on or before the year 2020, but simultaneously contribute to the development of fellow regional states.”

Brereton told Newsday writing the book was “a very interesting but challenging assignment.” It was published by Manning’s widow, Hazel Manning, and printed by Office Authority. Hazel also commissioned the book, as well as vetting and approving the final version. It was edited by Karina Jeffrey.

“I had to research and write about Mr Manning as a public figure and a politician, but also try to convey a sense of his character and personality. I needed to show his achievements, which were many, but also his weaknesses and errors of judgement.”

She said she had to be honest and objective about his life and work. “The book covers his whole life (1946-2016), but focuses on his years in public life from 1971, when he first became an MP.”

Brereton began writing in early 2022. She feels “generally satisfied” with the final product and believes it is “informative and readable.”
“It’s also lavishly illustrated and very well designed. “Readers will learn about a patriotic man who helped to shape his nation in many ways and about the history of TT since 1971. They will form their own judgement on Mr Manning, but it cannot be denied that he was one of the most important leaders of TT and the region since independence.”

Speakers at the launch will include Brereton, Manning’s son and San Fernando East MP Brian Manning, attorney and former Miss Universe Wendy Fitzwilliam, and calypsonian Dr Hollis “Chalkdust” Liverpool.

In addition to this, Brereton has written Race Relations in Colonial Trinidad, History Matters and A History of Modern Trinidad, among several other books.


"Patrick Manning biography to be launched on June 9"

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