The very best of Benn

If you are a fan of the legendary Tony Benn I recommend that you immerse yourself over the Christmas holidays in the Best of Benn, a compilation of his letters, diaries and speeches put together by Ruth Winstone who worked for Tony back in the eighties.  And when you have finished that there’s a new DVD, Will and Testament, that also covers the highlights of Tony’s political and personal life.


The Best of Benn compiled by Ruth Winstone

Ruth’s compilation showcases Tony Benn’s powers of original thinking and communication over seven decades. From ‘the baby of the house’ to a retired widower, he was a consistently radical campaigning voice on issues such as the death penalty, the case against the European Union, opposition to war and support of workers’ rights. This volume brings together Tony Benn’s electrifying speeches, thoughtful journalism and passionate advocacy of often unconventional causes.

The chapters are arranged to mirror the main phases of his life politically and personally, from his experience of the war from the ages of 15 to 19 and arrival in parliament as a young man through to his rebirth as a diarist and, in his later years, as a widower and loving and entertaining grandfather. His political activity continued after ‘retirement’ through mass meetings, broadcasts and in more recent years through social media.

The Best of Benn is published by Hutchinson, in hardback format, price £20


Will and Testament

In this unique autobiographical feature-length film Tony Benn – political firebrand, prolific diarist, writer, charismatic anti-war campaigner, husband and father – presents his own personal reflections on his childhood and youth, marriage and family, political career and retirement describing his privileged background, his political awakening, his fiercely held socialist beliefs, and the successes and failures of his efforts to implement them.

Archive news footage and Tony’s personal photographic and film collection illustrating his achievements, and his cogent, strongly felt arguments all help to create a history of Britain during the latter half of the 20th century. Extra features include Tony Benn’s last interview plus a Christmas message recorded in December 2013 and an exclusive photo gallery selected from Tony’s personal archive.

Will and Testament is released on DVD by Praslin Pictures Ltd.