After much hesitation, I published Looking Back… the struggle to preserve our freedoms in November 2015.

This was a semi-autobiography which was dominated by my activities between 1970 and 1980, first as a PNP activist, then as a JLP activist. This was the period when my little island was on the verge of a civil war. The publication got great reviews, but none better than in a humorous 45-minute interview with Cliff Hughes on Nationwide Radio.

Listen to it at:  https://youtu.be/Bye6K9uwmzo.

After that, all copies on the island sold out instantly. However, paperback and kindle versions were still available on Amazon.com at; Amazon.com : looking back by Joan Williams.

When I migrated to the USA, I relaunched it at Pembroke Pines Library in Broward County, Florida, in 2017 (Joan, my views: Florida launch of “Looking back….” (joan-myviews.blogspot.com). The reviews from the Jamaica Observer, Caribbean Today and Caribbean National Weekly were so good that the book has continued to do very well, especially with Jamaicans living abroad.       

To tell you the truth though, I have not been paying much attention to it, except to glance at the monthly sales logs which Amazon sends me.

Then out of the clear blue sky, about two weeks ago, I got an e-mail from Amazon advising me that the book had been selected to become an audiobook.  The voice would be done by AI, (Artificial Intelligence) they said. 

I never visited the link they sent me until I got a follow-up e-mail from them asking me how I felt about the project? That’s when I finally listened to it on Audible atLOOKING BACK……… by Joan Williams – Audiobook – Audible.com and I could not believe how good it sounded!

I immediately shared the link widely on my blog and was pleasantly surprised that by the following day, a 5-star review was posted on the page.

I have reproduced it below.   

                                     THE REVIEW

“Title: ‘Looking Back: A Riveting Account of Jamaica’s Turbulent Political Years (1970-1994)’ by Joan Williams

 Rating: 5/5

 Joan Williams’s Looking Back offers a compelling narrative of Jamaica’s political upheavals during the crucial years between 1970 and 1994. For readers like yourself, who may have left Jamaica during this period, this book serves as an invaluable window into the tumultuous events that unfolded under the leadership of Michael Manley and Edward Seaga.

Williams provides a ringside view of Jamaica’s political landscape, delving deep into the ideological clashes, social unrest, and economic challenges that gripped the nation. Through meticulous research and first-hand accounts, she paints a vivid picture of the power struggles between the People’s National Party (PNP) under Manley and the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) led by Seaga.

 What sets Looking Back apart is its ability to offer nuanced insights into the complexities of Jamaican politics. Williams does not shy away from addressing the controversies, violence, and human toll that marked this period. Yet, amidst the chaos, she also highlights moments of resilience, community spirit, and the enduring quest for social justice.

One of the book’s strengths lies in its balanced portrayal of key political figures. Rather than resorting to simplistic caricatures, Williams presents Manley and Seaga as multifaceted individuals with distinct visions for Jamaica’s future. By exploring their policies, personalities, and legacies, she enables readers to grasp the motivations driving these leaders and the impact of their decisions on the country’s trajectory.

Moreover, Looking Back offers valuable lessons for understanding contemporary Jamaican society and politics. Williams skilfully connects past events to present-day realities, illuminating the roots of ongoing social issues and the enduring legacy of this pivotal era.

 In conclusion, Looking Back is a must-read for anyone interested in Jamaican history, politics, or society. Joan Williams’s engaging prose, thorough research, and insightful analysis make this book a captivating journey through Jamaica’s turbulent past. Whether you’re a newcomer to Jamaican history or a seasoned observer, Looking Back offers fresh perspectives and profound revelations that will leave a lasting impression.

 Everett Smith, Esq.

Law Offices of Everett Algernon Smith, PA

POB 8487, Coral Springs, FL 33075.”

I am extremely grateful to Amazon for having selected this publication, for such prestigious treatment, for as we are often reminded: “Those who forget history are condemned to repeat it.”

 If I can play even a small role in ensuring that Jamaica never again treads that path, it will be well worth it.

Your feedback is invited: [email protected]

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