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September 04 , 2009

A Man of Good Abilities


First published in 1967, A Man of Good Abilities was Tony Parker's fifth book, and told the story of 65 year-old 'Norman Edwards', a compulsive swindler-embezzler for his whole adult life, one punctuated by numerous ineffective terms of imprisonment. Using journals, letters, and interview transcripts Parker drew a finessing portrait of a man and a seemingly intractable problem that he posed to society.

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The miners' strike of 1984-85 was one of the longest and most acrimonious in Britain's history. Six months after it ended, Tony Parker travelled to the North East of England to speak to people on both sides of the dispute and discover the views and feelings of a colliery community contemplating the bitter end of a whole way of life.'[Red…

'Tony Parker is a remarkably skilled and compassionate exponent of the documentary technique that he uses to illumine human character; with him, tape-recorded conversations are the stuff of art, not of mere photography.' New Society

'In his books the strength lies in the interpretive mind of the writer... He is a sociologist studying single cases in some depth and shows qualities of imagination shared by the historian and the biographer - a mixture of intelligence, sympathy and empathy.' TLS

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