- THE DOROTHY HEWETT AWARD
Albert Rene: The Father of Modern Seychelles, A Biography
Albert René is a towering figure of modern Seychelles who arouses intense emotions in both admirers and opponents. This first full-length biography analyses his early years, his political awakening and his struggle for full electoral support in the face of strong opposition.
Frustrated by the slow pace of economic development and the extent of social division along racial lines, René took the fateful decision to seize power by coup d’état in 1977. It is a dramatic story, which includes an attempted invasion by South African mercenaries. In 1992-3 René finessed a change from a one-party socialist state to multi-party rule. He bequeathed to his successor a transformed nation that had shed its oppressive racial hierarchy and had attained the highest social and economic indicators within the African region.
Underlying the political drama is the story of the compassion and romance of the all too human man that is Albert René. The author adds authority to his account by the depth of his research through archives and contemporary newspapers as well as extensive interviews covering both political and personal life, the latter including interviews with all three of Albert René’s wives.