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Jun 15, 2007

"Two lives that once part are like ships that divide. There are two lives to each of us, the life of our actions, and the life of our minds and hearts. History reveals men's deeds and their outward characters, but not themselves. There is a secret self that has its own life, unpenetrated and unguessed." --Edward Bulwer-Lytton

History Lessons For A Disinterested Daughter

Erica Williams Connell was an admitted "mediocre student", hating the isolation that came with being the daughter of Trinidad and Tobago's prime minister, Eric Williams. She still isn't sure what prompted her, during one of their frequent father-daughter chats, to make an unusual request: "When you die," a then-14-year-old Erica told her father, "I would like your books and papers." In 1981, after a quarter-century as leader, Eric Williams died in office at 69. While his death signaled the end of a political era, it also marked the beginning of his daughter's crusade to keep her father's legacy alive. "I was not a scholar, not interested in school, failed at history miserably, don't have a degree, refused to go to university," said Connell, 56. "I spent years not paying attention to my father's accomplishments." This article describes her odyssey.

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