Michael Manley’s first job after graduation from the London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) was as a broadcast journalist with the External Services of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). After a year at the BBC, he returned home in December 1951 to take up a position as Associate Editor of the weekly socialist newspaper Public Opinion and also wrote an opinion column titled “Root of the Matter”.
When asked to join the staff of the new National Workers Union less than a year later, Mr Manley hesitated, as by then he had his mind set on a career in journalism. In the end, he took the job with the Union, but he continued contributing the “Root of the Matter” for some years thereafter.
Soon after taking office as Prime Minister, he embarked on writing his first book, The Politics of Change, dictating drafts to secretaries and then painstakingly rewriting. “The Politics of Change: A Jamaican Testament” was launched in 1974. The following year, “A Voice at the Workplace: Reflections on Colonialism and the Jamaican Worker” was published. Mr Manley had seven books published and was the principal co-author of another book, “Global Challenge: From Crisis to Cooperation; Breaking the North-South Stalemate”, a product of the Socialist International Committee on Economic Policy, which he chaired. His solus titles include “The Search for Solutions: Selections from the speeches and writings of Michael Manley”, “The Poverty of Nations: Reflections on Underdevelopment and the World Economy”, “Up The Down Escalator: Development and the International Economy – A Jamaican Case Study”, “Jamaica: Struggle in the Periphery”, and “A History of West Indies Cricket”. A number of his works are on university booklists and he enjoyed a greater volume of sales than the vast majority of Caribbean authors. His relative success is even more pronounced when compared with other writers of non-fiction in the region.
When out of power in the 1980s, he wrote hundreds of articles for newspapers and magazines in many countries as well as for academic publications. His writings covered a very broad range of subjects, reflecting his wide and varied interests.