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#397201 - 01/13/11 09:54 AM Price Biography Announced
Marty Offline
National Hero George Price will celebrate his 92nd birthday on this coming Saturday, January 15th. and leading Caribbean publisher Ian Randle Publishers, today announced that it had reached an agreement to publish Price's authorized biography.

The book is written by Godfrey Smith and the provisional title is, George

Price: A Hidden Life Revealed.

The book is slated for release in the second half of 2011 to coincide with the thirtieth anniversary of independence.

The book is 400 pages long and is culled from many hours of interviews smith conducted with Price over eighteen months.

According to a release form the publisher, "no attempt is made to paint a picture of George Price as a saint or to denigrate his rivals or detractors.

Readers will see Price for who he was…"

Channel 7


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#397603 - 01/18/11 10:41 AM Re: Price Biography Announced [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline
Respect to The Honorable George Cadle Price....
From Richard Holder



Not everyone in Belize knows R H, but everyone and their grandparents knows of the great George Cadle Price, the Father of the Nation and Leader Emeritus of the once unstoppable People's United Party. I've met Mr. Price on various occasions over the past eleven years since returning to Belize and I can say that's he's a true Belizean hero to me. A hero not just for accomplishing the independence of Belize and for being our first ( exemplary ) prime minister, but for his honesty and consistency in living a positive way of life. If all Belizean politicians were to follow in the examples set by this gentleman, our country would still be a land once described as Friendly and Unspoiled. On one occasion, after a massive PUP rally in 2003, I asked him how he managed to stay so youthfully active for as long as he has and he replied " the secret is to drink lots of water and not eat too much." I'd add that he does it by staying inspired about life itself. If you've ever heard him sing the National Anthem, you'd understand. January 14 is his 92nd Birthday! Happy Birthday, Mr. Price and thank you. www.richardholder.com

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#423719 - 11/30/11 07:52 AM Re: Price Biography Announced [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

From The Publisher of Amandala

“He (Price) claimed that $10 million dollars had been earmarked in the Guatemalan budget of $1 billion to advance its claim on Belize internationally.”

- pg. 217, GEORGE PRICE: A Life Revealed, Godfrey Smith, Ian Randle Publishers, 2011

I am grateful to Mr. Godfrey Smith for sending me a copy of his “authorized biography” of the Rt. Hon. George C. Price. Mr. Smith’s driver personally delivered the book last Wednesday afternoon.

I do not consider myself an appropriate reviewer of the work for several reasons, the main one being that it would be difficult for me to be completely honest. I wouldn’t want to open old wounds.

For now, I will discuss with you two important aspects of the book. One is how British Honduras’ most famous attorney during the early PUP era, Woolrich Harrison Courtenay, moved from being a foundation enemy of the PUP, whose house was stoned in 1950 by PUP elements, to becoming the chairman of the 1959 United Front (PUP and NIP) negotiating constitutional advancement for British Honduras in London, after being Mr. Price’s successful defence counsel in the PUP Leader’s sedition trial of 1958. Sir W. H. Courtenay later became Belize’s first Speaker of the House in 1961 when the PUP won 18 out of 18 seats. The Courtenay family has been PUP ever since that time.

Mr. Smith writes as follows: “He (Courtenay) had also assumed the chairmanship of the commission that had produced the 1954 adult suffrage but as observed by Cedric Grant, ‘Courtenay had quietly withdrawn from the political maelstrom in 1953 and had successfully reappeared on the political scene as the defence counsel to Price in his sedition trial of 1958.’ Price and Courtenay must have developed a relationship during the sedition trial that made the former comfortable enough to have him as chairman of the Working Group.” (pgs. 159, 160, GEORGE PRICE: A Life Revealed, Godfrey Smith, Ian Randle Publishers, 2011.)

In 1950, Mr. Price had intervened in the stoning of Courtenay’s home. “His (Price’s) intervention in the stoning of Courtenay’s house was not well received by Tony Soberanis who accosted Price at the Battlefield. It was this incident that convinced Price that the Soberanis agenda and his were divergent and that Soberanis could not continue to be a part of the People’s Committee. His unbridled militancy would do the movement more harm than good.” (pg. 77, ibid.)

It was in 1959, specifically and apparently, that Mr. Price moved to an accommodation with the British. “It was time to adjust strategy. To the surprise of many, he openly declared in the legislative assembly debate of November 13, 1959, that ‘it should be very plain to all that the political objective of the People’s United Party is to achieve self-government within the British Commonwealth and ultimately, in accordance with the United Nations Charter.’ People focused on the first part of his statement.” (pg. 159, ibid.) Incidentally, just a few months after this, in early 1960, the British sent the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) to tour British Honduras in a gesture of sports diplomacy.

So that, we come to the second aspect of the Price biography I want to discuss today. Interestingly enough, the very month before that noteworthy Price speech in the legislative assembly, there had been a political challenge to Mr. Price coming out of the Cayo leadership of the PUP, which was the most Guatemala-influenced area of British Honduras at the time. (In the 1970’s, it would be Toledo which was most Guatemala-influenced.) Ydigoras Fuentes was at the height of his presidential power in Guatemala in 1959. “In October 1959, he (Price) faced a mini rebellion from the western district of Cayo. Hector Silva, who had accompanied Price on his Central American tour and was considered one of his closer men, headed a group of five men who outlined ‘suggestions’ to the party leader. The five were Santiago Perdomo, Angel Andrews, Domingo Espat, Antonio Espat and Hector Silva.” (pg. 160, ibid.)

The Cayo challenge was so important in Mr. Price’s mind that he referred to it when he was in his nineties and being interviewed for this biography. “He remembered, indeed, the letter of October 1959 from the five People’s United Party members in El Cayo, proposing a new structure for the party. ‘They wanted to push me aside and take over the party but I saw through it right away,’ he said, a glint of faded triumph in his eyes.” (pg. 3, ibid.)

Because Hector David Silva is alive and famously lucid, I am really surprised that Mr. Smith did not find the time to interview him about this incident. For me, the Cayo “mini rebellion” is almost sensational, because it has never been discussed, to the best of my knowledge, in PUP history, because it was very significant to Mr. Price, and because of something Mr. Lionel Tillett told me about a year ago.

Lionel, who was the UDP (strictly speaking, “Corozal United Front”) candidate for Corozal North in 1974 (he lost to the PUP’s Vilio Marin by just 12 votes), had mentioned to me that he was attending a church high school in Benque Viejo in the late 1950’s when he went across the border to Melchor, where the Guatemalan president, Ydigoras Fuentes, was visiting. Lionel said, almost casually, that as Fuentes addressed the Melchor crowd, he was flanked on the stage by Hector Silva and San Perdomo. It was a story extraordinary to me at the time, but it becomes even more intriguing when viewed in the light of the October 1959 Cayo challenge and the November 1959 pro-British Commonwealth move by Mr. Price.


Godfrey’s gaffe

All things being equal, the UDP should have won the 1979 general elections. All things being equal, the PUP should have won the 1993 general elections. But, all things are not equal. Stuff happens. We can’t control the present, but we should be careful to be accurate with the past.

Perhaps the most glaring historical error in Godfrey Smith’s recently released and authorized biography of the Rt. Hon. George C. Price was the linking of Evan X Hyde and Dean Lindo in the 1971 Belize City Council elections. Smith allowed himself to be the conduit for this mistake. He did not himself manufacture the mistake, but he bears the conduit responsibility.

Historically, the most important thing about the 1971 Belize City Council elections was precisely that Dean Lindo did not participate: he led his PDM in a boycott of the campaign run against the ruling PUP by a coalition of the NIP and the young UBAD Party. The NIP/UBAD coalition won 39 percent of the votes, and no doubt would have won more if Lindo’s PDM had joined them. (The PUP won all nine CitCo seats.)

Just two or three months after those December 1971 CitCo elections, Dean Lindo began to defend UBAD leaders in a bunch of Magistrate’s Court cases and a Supreme Court trial, and he did so pro bono. These cases lasted from February or March of 1972 until October of 1972. By October, the events of 1973 clearly establish, Dean Lindo had gained traction within UBAD, and he was able to divide the UBAD leadership,

The December 1971 CitCo elections marked the end of Philip Goldson as Maximum Leader of the Opposition. (Mr. Goldson went to London in January of 1972 to begin studying law.) Lindo had challenged him for leadership of the NIP around May of 1969, and then formed the PDM when Goldson defeated his challenge. When Mr. Price announced general elections in November that year, Goldson and Lindo had to bring their NIP and PDM together to form an NIPDM coalition. They were badly beaten in December of 1969, only Goldson winning his seat in Albert.

The NIP and the PDM then separated again. (The triumphant PUP attacked UBAD with sedition arrests.) Around September or October of 1971, Mr. Goldson, in desperation, approached UBAD for support in contesting the December 1971 CitCo elections. Dean Lindo, to repeat, boycotted those elections.

In the immediate aftermath of those elections, to repeat, he began to defend various UBAD leaders in court free of cost. So that, when he began to put together the new UDP in 1973, half of the UBAD leadership went along with him.

At the same time in 1973, Lindo achieved something which Mr. Goldson had never been able to do. He succeeded in dividing Belize’s Roman Catholic vote, which Mr. Price had hitherto absolutely dominated, when he brought the newly formed Liberal Party into the UDP.

The history has some relevance where present day UDP politics is concerned, Mr. Lindo recently was featured in a television advertisement supporting Santi Castillo in the UDP Caribbean Shores constituency convention scheduled for this coming Sunday, December 4. The fact of the matter is that the mother of Santi’s main rival, Chandra Nisbet Cansino, had challenged Lindo in his established UDP Fort George constituency in 1989. So, the Santi endorsement may be viewed as payback.

More than that, a Santi victory would surely increase Mr. Lindo’s leverage in the ruling party. That leverage should not be taken lightly. Mr. Lindo recently was so sure of himself that he took out a committal warrant on a UDP Cabinet Minister who owed him money. The Minister paid. We’ll see what happens on Sunday.

Amandala


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#423724 - 11/30/11 08:04 AM Re: Price Biography Announced [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

The Authorized Biography Of Price: The Process Behind It

There have been many books about National Hero and Founding Father George Price, but this week Godfrey Smith will release the first authorized biography of the great man.

An authorized biography means Price approved of and participated in the writing of the book, which is called, "George Price, A Life Revealed."

Now, if you know anything about George Price or his legend, you'll known that he is a private and plain man. But when Godfrey Smith encountered him in February of 2009, at the age of 90, the elder statesman could hardly be bothered about the mythology surrounding him; he was ready to speak plainly, candidly and extensively about his remarkable life.

Tonight, in the first of a three part look at this important work - author Godfrey Smith tells us what the process was like, meeting with Price several times a week over the course of a year to put together the broad outline of his life:...

Godfrey Smith, author
"Price was for the better part of his life extremely private and secretive person. I believe that my timing was right. By the time I got around to do this biography Mr. price had ceased being a political person if you will. He was 90 years old, was retired and though he was inform of what happen politically, it's not like he had any running interest in it. So I had no direct access to him but I eventually approach Mr. Luke Espat who was close to Mr. Price for a very long time and Luke arranged the interview. I was given a time and a date to see him. I went and Mr. Price welcomed me and was actually very excited and eager to get the process going. I suspect, I got the feeling that he really cherishes the companionship. I got the feeling that he enjoyed discussing the story telling aspect of it. I think he took great joy in telling the story."

Jules Vasquez
"He had great disregard or not great regard it seems for the mythology that had been cultivated around him as an icon. He didn't have much regard for that."

Godfrey Smith, author
"That is absolutely true. The thing is I am not sure to what extent Price really did have a regard for the mythology. The thing is because he was always such an intensely private person, few people really got to engage him in a relax mode but I think those who did he readily confided things such as for example that he was a poor student, he barely scrape - he was a 70s average student. He was at the bottom of his class and issues relating to his relationship with Guatemala officials, he readily without a moment's hesitation said 'look this is what I was doing I got money from the Guatemalans, it was used for the defense of Goldson and Richardson. It was used to get propaganda material to fight against the British. It was a case of the enemy of my enemies, my friend kind of thing. So yes the point is that he was completely open. There was not a question that I put to him which he failed to give an answer to."

Jules Vasquez
"So importantly he did have an opportunity to go over - it being an authorized biography, he did had an opportunity to review what you had compiled."

Godfrey Smith, author
"Price did, he reviewed 18 chapters and even though as I am in the materials, i have the materials, it's a bankers box full of files with the materials relating to each chapter and up to chapter can be found, the printed chapters with is notations, corrections, suggestions etc. After chapter 18, that coincided with an incident where he had fallen and had to be hospitalized. I notice that I take the chapter for him but it would remain and even though he said he would read it I found that it wasn't being done, so effectively I think he critically commented on 18 chapters, but even so the comments he made were never with a view to removing or excising anything. It was more questions of accuracy and how he remembered things. But there was no point on any of his scribbling on those chapters where he says 'please take this out or please that out' not at all which surprise me I must say."

Jules Vasquez
"Why do you think that he felt it OK to proceed as you will, be faithful only to truth?"

Godfrey Smith, author
"I think quite simply he had reached that age, that stage of his life. I think as I put it his interest was no longer anchored on the plateau of politics. he spirit has risen above that and he was just in a relax mode and calling things as he saw it, stating his opinions of people and things and just being frank. I think he had reached and age of his life where the deep privacy didn't matter. The things that had laid hidden away for decades didn't matter. He simply was prepared to tell the story."

Tomorrow, we'll talk to Smith about the early events in the public life of George Price that gave birth to the PUP and the Nationalist movement.

The book will be officially launched on Friday of this week.

Channel 7


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#423802 - 12/01/11 08:24 AM Re: Price Biography Announced [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Smith Says Capitalist Drew Price, The Nationalist Into Politics

The first tell-all authorized biography of George Price will be launched on Friday and yesterday - the man Price permitted to tell the story of his life, sat down with us and discussed some of the finer details of this most fascinating book.

Smith already told us how the 90 year old Price completely let down his guard and agreed to discuss everything in his remarkable life.

For many, the most fascinating period is the birth of the nationalist movement and the PUP in the 1940's and 50's.

Price was attending the seminary on his way to becoming a priest when the Second World War made it impossible for him to continue his studies in Rome.

That's when he was forced to return to Belize - and ended up in the company of the historical giants: Robert Thurton, Phillip Goldson and Leigh Richardson.

We discussed his complex relationships with these men - first of all Thurton, the richest man in British Honduras at the time and his employer when he decided to get into politics:

Jules Vasquez
"After he comes out of the priesthood, he's jobless, and Mr. Thurton, to whom his father owes debts, hires him as a translator. Obviously, Mr. Thurton was the critical figure in his life in terms of his patronage, we believe, enabled Mr. Price. Is it one of the ironies that the greatest nationalist leader was born out of the cradle of capitalism, this ruthless capitalist, Mr. Thurton?"

Godfrey Smith - Price Biographer
"Absolutely, I would have to agree that if you were to ask me, 'What figure, whether literary or real, what person - what thing - most influenced Price?' I would say that the single greatest influence on him was Robert Syndey Thurton. Even in terms of mannerisms, scribbling on the back, saving paper by scribbling on the back of envelopes, recycling envelopes, being very careful with the use of money, his embrace of the US as opposed to the British, his vision of Belize's place as being more Central American, I think all came out of his exposure to Mr. Thurton."

Jules Vasquez
"Now, if I read it right, or the interpretation I get is that Mr. Thurton's interest in Mr. Price as a politician - the young Mr. Price - was that Mr. Thurton felt he could use Mr. Price to ply him against the British with who Mr. Thurton was always fighting over the payment of taxes."

Godfrey Smith
Yes, That's certainly the impression I got from speaking to Price and researching around the issues. What I'm not saying that Price allowed himself to be used a tool of Thurton. I think whether because of Price's militancy against the British, Thurton benefitted, that may well be and was, but I think my own sense is that Price, in and of himself because of his perception of the backwardness that British Honduras was in, he himself built up resentment for the colonial establishment. But I'm in no doubt that that was urged along and encouraged by Thurton."

Jules Vasquez
"And then, that is the other mystery in the book, or in the life of Mr. Price. Where does he become politicized?"

Godfrey Smith
"It is true that when I asked Price what was his political influences in his adolescent years, he was not a political person. There was nothing that he pointed to that suggested to me that there were any great political influences in his life. In my view, one of the things that perhaps caused, or triggered that political conscientization in Price, was as he put it going to Guatemala where - in his words - 'My mind opened.' And he saw -"

Jules Vasquez
"When he was a seminarian."

Godfrey Smith
"Yes, he was a seminarian, and he was just totally impressed by the development he saw in Guatemala, by the universities, by the health facilities, and everything else. And he wondered, 'Why is it that British Honduras, where the British Hondurans are inclined to look down on their Central American neighbors, why was British Honduras so backward?' And the answer could only be - at that time - because of the oppressiveness of the colonial government."

Jules Vasquez
"Now, when Goldson and Richardson were tried and convicted of sedition, and they went to jail, it was one of the most amazing occurrences in Belize's history. I think it was Manuel Esquivel who framed it in the context that they were Belize's first political prisoners. What do you think was his role in that, and what do you make of the fact that when Richardson was released and a spontaneous rally was held, he didn't attend? It was held at the mouth of Majestic Alley, I believe."

Godfrey Smith
"Yes, not only did he not attend some of those rallies, but I also found that in instances, where, for instance, the Jamaica lawyer, Noel Nethersole, came to Belize, all the leadership of the PUP would be there to greet him, and to brief them on the political developments in preparation for the trial of Goldson and Richardson, and Price was always absent. His response when prodded, as I did ask him what this meant, he reminded me that he had a full-time job with Mr. Thurton, and was often travelling with Thurton abroad, and that those instances co-incided."

Jules Vasquez
"The sharp inquiry of 1956, the contact or no-contact, now Price, almost counter-intuitively immerged from that a people's hero."

Godfrey Smith
"Well, I don't agree that it was counter- intuitive that he immerged as people's hero. By then, Price had engineered, crafted, the art of house-to-house campaigning, and making himself personally known on an individual basis to people throughout the length and breadth of Belize. By the time of that inquiry, Price, I would say, was a well-established politician, and had a firm grip and handle on Belizean politics, and on the mind and psyche of the Belizean people. His triumph, if you will, remember now that the inquiry found that there was contact. It just didn't go on to say where the actual money was coming from. It didn't say that it was coming from the Guatemalan Government; it said that it possibly could have come from the newspaper association etc. So, but nonetheless, it was a triumph, out of which came the slogan, 'Contact or No Contact, PUP all the way'. In other words, the people didn't care, whether Price or the PUP had contacted Guatemala. It was PUP all the way."

Jules Vasquez
"Now, on 103, you wrote that Mr. Price, at the Battlefield Park Meeting, 'Any accusation that the party is receiving aid from Guatemala to work against our own, is therefore absurd, ridiculous, unfounded, and possibly malicious.' Putting it as he did, it could be fairly interpreted that the party was receiving aid from Guatemala to fight the British, who Price did not consider to be 'our own'. This, you wrote, 'This was actually the case, as Price had been receiving monthly cash contributions from the Guatemalans for some time.'"

Godfrey Smith
"Yes."

Jules Vasquez
"This is the first time that I know, that this assertion has been made in any serious work of research."

Godfrey Smith
"And it has caused, as I understand it, a bit of a stir in some political quarters for the reason that Price always denied, as he had to, that he was receiving money from the Guatemalans. He had to because we were a colony governed by the British, and obviously, actions could be taken against him by the colonial government if he freely admitted. And we know that no politician would. The fact is that he was receiving the money not use, as he put it, against his own, but it was used to fight the British Government. I personally see no difficulty with it. I think it was a master stroke. I think was a bold and 'ballsy' move on is part. He had to find money where he could to keep the propaganda going, and to engage in political warfare. It might have required less funds then, but a political campaign in any period in history, to be able to campaign successfully, to be able to put out your propaganda, to be able to mobilize, have flags etc., requires money, and he was getting it from the Guatemalans."

Tomorrow, we'll continue our discussion with Smith and talk about Price's transition from enemy of the Colonial Government to the establishment figure who led Belize to self-government and Independence.

Channel 7


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#423807 - 12/01/11 08:35 AM Re: Price Biography Announced [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Authorized Biography called, “George Price: A life Revealed”

Throughout his storied life and illustrious career in politics there have been quite a number of publications written about Father of the Nation, George Cadle Price. While those books delved into the man and his many achievements none were sanctioned by him until he was approached by former government minister and now practicing attorney, Godfrey Smith two years ago. In February 2009, Smith received Price’s blessing to embark on a memoir which would detail his life and times as a Belizean iconoclast. The process of penning Price’s biography was extensive, requiring Smith, the author, to sit with the elder statesman several days a week to document his many trials and tribulations. The result is George Price: A Life Revealed, a magnum opus written and compiled at the sunset of Price’s life. Throughout the entire project Smith said he focused primarily on the ease with which the chapters can be read.

Godfrey Smith, Biographer

Godfrey Smith

“Ever present, I think the most, the thing that hovered over my shoulder and my back at all times during this project was [the fact that] I wanted readability. I wanted it to move along, I wanted it to be well paced, as detailed as it can be, historically accurate as it could be but at the same time [enjoyable]. And I must say that the editors helped with that as well because one of the first rules I’m told about writing is that you have to be prepared to kill your children, meaning your intellectual children. You put all this stuff there but you have to know that when the editors come down to start tearing out, cutting out, excising. And they helped a lot because for local readership I thought that there was a lot of stuff that they would want to hear, verbal exchanges, descriptions of persons and what so and so did because we all know these persons or have heard of them but the editors felt that you have to balance that with readership abroad and they don’t want to get bogged down. They don’t want to know about this street and what was at the edge of this street, who da who fa cousin and that kind of thing. They essentially want a well researched and as analytical as possible a work on the man’s life.”

Smith reveals information not published before about Price and we’ll have the content of the book when George Price: A Life Revealed is formally launched on Friday at the House of Culture in Belize City.

Channel 5


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#423926 - 12/02/11 08:53 AM Re: Price Biography Announced [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Smith: Price Led Belize Out Of Colonialism, But After Independence?

For the past two nights, we've been looking into the authorized biography of George Price with its author, Godfrey Smith. So far we've discussed the unprecedented personal access that Price gave to Smith and the forces that coalesced (koa-lesst) to thrust Price unto the national stage.

Tonight - in the last part of our interview, we'll examine - in a very broad sweep - Price's leadership between self-Government in 1964, right up to independence in 1981 and beyond.

We also asked Smith about his candid discussions with Price about his celibacy.

First though, to Price's prime, as a mature leader fleshing out his vision for nationhood:..

Jules Vasquez
"Would you say that he was in his prime at that period, he was at the height of his powers. He had absolute control over his party. He had best it seems crystalize his ideas at that time on nationhood and nation building."

Godfrey Smith
"Oh certainly, I would have to agree. At that time as well he still saw Belize's future economically primarily as being link to Central America for geographical reasons primarily. His real deep seated concern was how to achieve economic viability."

Jules Vasquez
"How would you asses Mr. Prices performance and role during internationalization. Was he central or tangential?"

Godfrey Smith
"I would have to say central. He couldn't attend every meeting and he couldn't sign off on every detail. But I am left with the firm view that his input was sought. His direction was sought, his agreement was sought and he had a firm hand in directing the process. He was an extremely serious, meticulous, well researched, aggressive, firm strong leader who gave a lot of thought to things and who was in short a visionary."

Jules Vasquez
"What led to the demise of the PUP post 1981 in terms of the party discipline itself started falling apart. Mr. Price could no longer hold it together. All these contentious factions at war with each other."

Godfrey Smith
"Yes I think it's a case again of a number of factors reaching a tipping point for which there was no return. The global economic situation was bad. The world was in a recession that obviously had spill off effects in Belize. The party had been in power always up to that point. They had never lost an election. Independence was won on the promise that this would be better for Belizeans and in fact it wasn't. Things worsen and corruption crept up and reaches critical mass. So being the masterful politician his first and foremost objective was always to keep things in a manageable position, not to do anything that would hurt the party. But at that point it was a little too late; it was a bridge too far. Things had progress to a point where people simply needed a change."

Jules Vasquez
"Price was unable to lead effectively in the modern era, the post-Independence era. Was it because he was not a man of that time?"

Godfrey Smith
"I would have to reluctantly agree, let me rephrase that. My frank answer is yes, I think after the accomplishment of Independence. Price was a colonial era politician like many politicians and his greatest legacy is the achievement of Independence. Yes I agree that after 89-93 that he was perhaps a little bit out of his depth in terms of what was required to move things along economically, that's my view."

Jules Vasquez
"His personal life - this is probably the most thorough glimpse or the only glimpse really in his personal life because while they have been other books they have scrupulously avoided his personal life. You have broached many subjects, personal subjects with him including celibacy. What was his reaction when you broach that subject?"

Godfrey Smith
"Completely open, almost pride in the fact that he was celibate until his death, he said so to me and he had no reason not to be truthful about it. I pressed and prodded him whether - there was not a single instance of him having a sexual liaison with a female and he said absolutely not and it seems to me that he honestly holds the view that his celibacy helps to account for his focus in politics, his energy, his longevity in life."

Jules Vasquez
"Did you speak to him about sexuality? About his sexuality?"

Godfrey Smith
"I have said to him that surely he must be aware that people have accused him of being gay and he said there is absolutely no truth to that, no inclination to that whatsoever."

Jules Vasquez
"There are people who are very involved in mythology of Mr. Price and hold that mythology secret. Do you fear that some will be offended by the many of the candid disclosures made in this book?"

Godfrey Smith
"Fear, no. Do I expect that? Yes. Notwithstanding some of the truthful revelations in the book. For me none of that diminishes Price's extraordinary political talent and his extraordinary and perhaps unparalleled now and forever contribution to the development of not only Belize but political parties in Belize and institutions in Belize. But the approach certainly was to tell Price's story based on what he said, based on interview with other people, based on historical research, articles, magazines, newspapers etc. without reference to the mythology and to those who mythologized Price because that the only way I know how to do the work."

The book is called, George Price: A Life Revealed, and it is published by Ian Randle Publishers of Jamaica. It is being launched right now at the George Price Center in Belmopan.

It will be launched in Belize City at the House of Culture tomorrow at 7:00, with remarks from Governor-General, Sir Colville Young. Books go on sale Monday at book stores everywhere. It is available for sale in hardcover and paperback and the electronic Kindle Version should soon be available on Amazon.com.

Channel 7


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#424354 - 12/06/11 08:30 AM Re: Price Biography Announced [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

George Price’s Biography launched

Two and a half months after his passing, the authorized biography of George Price is on sale at outlets around the country. It took Smith two years to conclude and publish George Price: A Life Revealed. He spent countless hours on research and interviewing the father of the nation, who was well known as a man of extreme privacy. On Friday evening at the House of Culture, Smith launched the publication in the City. News Five’s Isani Cayetano was at the launch and has this report.

Robin Shaffer, Guest Speaker

Robin Shaffer

“Smith paints a picture of Price as one who, beneath his pious exterior, could often be found to be petty, secretive and vindictive. A man who did not suffer slights lightly – end quote. Well, my curiosity took hold of me and I devoured the first few pages, impatient to see these characteristics that I had never heard juxtaposed with Price. But soon enough I abandoned this fervor as I was lulled by the storytelling since, not to give away the book, it opens with us accompanying Mr. Price to mass. I felt like I was getting the rare opportunity to know more fully the man. I felt like I was walking with George Price and finding out who he truly was, everything, not just the figurehead of independence but the child, the priest in waiting, the totality of the man.”

The authorized biography of the late George Cadle Price, written by Godfrey Smith, is officially in stores across the country today. The memoir of the Father of the Nation, a project which began in 2009, was launched at the House of Culture in Belize City on Friday night before an audience of Smith’s friends and family, as well as those of the Right Honorable George Price.

Godfrey Smith, Biographer

“I know that there have been two books already written but I wanted to do something comprehensive, something full, something chronological that traces from your grandparents right through to the present and he said, “Yes. Sure, I think you’re a good man to do it, either you or Assad Shoman can do it and he said but make sure it something like Margaret Thatcher’s Downing Street Years,” which of course is a huge tome. He said it weighed something like ten pounds. I think that was a bit of an exaggeration but certainly it was quite a heavy tow. And so the project began.”

Godfrey Smith

Two years after the commencement of that project and two and a half months following his death, George Price: A Life Revealed is available to the public. Additional information, says Smith, such as transcripts of interviews and recordings of their sessions during the making of the book will be submitted as part of Belize’s historical collection.

Godfrey Smith

“He was indeed very open, very honest and it was a great, great adventure for me and a truly singular and unique experience. My regret of course is that he was not able to see the final product. He was able to review up to eighteen chapters. He made his squiggling and remark and comments in the margins and indeed all over the paper. Those, at the appropriate time, will be handed over and indeed all the research work to either the Archives [Department] or the George Price Center, along with all the taped interviews as well which is, I think, the proper place for those materials to be.”

The launch is one of three ceremonies commemorating the occasion. The first was held at the George Price Center for Peace and Development last Thursday while the third will be held in England. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

Another book launched is programmed for early next year in London. The books are available in soft and hard cover. And Smith says the proceeds will go to the George Price Center.

Channel 5


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#425638 - 12/19/11 08:23 AM Re: Price Biography Announced [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline
from a friend.....

I finished reading Godfrey's book this am. In the preface Godfrey related that he had been planning the project for over 15 years and fully understood the historical responsibility he carried in the task. Mr. Price clearly realized his duty to history as well and placed an immense amount of trust in Godfrey. The result is a fascinating look at the man's personal and political life with little, if anything, held back. Godfrey admits to some self-censorship after receiving serious heat from some of Price's former comrades when they learned what was going to come out.

Certainly some of the revelations, such as the fact that Price took money from Guatemala after years of vociferous denials, are already creating controversy. I'm sure many of you saw the interview with Don Hector Silva on Channel 7 the other day about him taking money from Guatemala and being forced to make a written apology to the PUP leadership and pledge personal loyalty to Price. It's a complex issue in both cases that merits more discussion.

The book also provides a very close look at Price's personal life and his relationships. Godfrey covers everything that has been floating around over the years and is not hesitant to criticize some of Price's faults, such as a penchant for secrecy and a sometimes aloof manner. In public situations Price had little interest in small talk and the like, he was "down to business" all of the time. He reminds me of a number of historic figures, such as Lenin, in the sense that he lived for his politics and lived as an ascetic with little need for creature comforts. He did not smoke, almost never drank , and ate a a bare minimum. He attributed his long life to moderation in all things and an abstention from sex. Yes, on that subject Price claims to have been celibate all his life and claims that was a factor in him reaching such an advanced age.

Now some good news on availability of the book. Last night I sold my copy on Amazon since there is a shortage. I also called the publisher in Miami yesterday. They are Jamaican and specialize in Caribbean topics. They have an office in Miami and this book was actually printed in the U.S.

I politely asked them what their problem was in making this important book available to the public. To make a long story short they asked me to assist in distributing this book and they are sending me 20 copies. I expect to get them next week. I will put some up on Amazon for $30 (damn they take a huge cut!) but will able to sell them direct for less than that, probably at the list price of $25 and that would include postage. I will pelt you know when I actually get them.

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#426789 - 01/05/12 08:47 AM Re: Price Biography Announced [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline
Good news - Amazon now has Godfrey's book available on Kindle for $9.99!
CLICK HERE

An ascetic and failed priest, a stoic, father of the nation, prime minister and first national hero of the Central American nation of Belize, George Price remains one of the most enigmatic leaders of the 20th century. Nothing in the early years of Price s life gave any indication that he would become the most uncompromising adversary of the British government in the struggle, first for self-government and later for Belizean independence, and in the process dominate Belizean politics for over 40 years. An indifferent scholastic career, failure to complete studies for the priesthood followed by a decade as the right-hand man for one of the colony s most astute businessmen, were less than impressive a track record for a future national leader and political firebrand. Yet for close to 50 years, the story of George Price was inseparable from the story of the modern political development of Belize, involving the birth of nationalist politics; the formation of political parties; the struggle for independence and the national objective of maintaining the territorial integrity of Belize against claims by Guatemala. Here is the story of a man who never married or raised a family, who never had a romantic liaison with a woman and who up to the time of his death at the age of 92 had remained celibate all his life. Price’s first and only lifelong love, his sweetheart, wife and family were Belize and its people. In this even-handed and revealing authorized biography, Godfrey Smith does not attempt to canonize Price or denigrate his rivals and detractors. Rather, he exposes the contradictions that were a feature of Price’s life and career. On the one hand the reader is shown Price as the ardent nationalist and a man of uncommon discipline and tenacity who pursued his vision of an independent Belize with clear-minded focus, courage and determination, yet who by his own admission, had secret relations with Guatemala whom most Belizeans regarded as the enemy. On a personal level, Smith paints a picture of Price as one who beneath his pious exterior could often be found to be petty, secretive and vindictive, and a man who did not suffer slights lightly. Few political leaders from the region have recorded their memoirs or, like Price, given access by way of interviews or opened their personal papers to researchers or biographers. As one whose political career spanned the colonial and post independence eras, the information, experiences and insights Price has freely given to his biographer will make this work an important contribution to the study of the political personality, the development of political parties and party politics in the Caribbean at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. In addition, the book sheds new light on Price’s adversarial relationship with local British governors and officials of the Colonial Office in London, and on the central role that the Guatemalan claim on Belize and Price’s controversial affiliations with Guatemala played in both the negotiation and timing of Belizean independence. The value of Godfrey Smith s work as the biographer of George Price lies in the fact that it is at once the revealing story of an important and controversial political leader, and at the same time, a history of the anti-colonial struggle and the modern political development of Belize.

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