**WINNER OF THE ORWELL PRIZE FOR POLITICAL WRITING** **WINNER OF THE ELIZABETH LONGFORD PRIZE FOR HISTORICAL BIOGRAPHY** *Book of the year: The Times, Sunday Times, New Statesman, Spectator, Evening Standard* 'Outstanding . . . We still live in the society that was shaped by Clement Attlee' Robert Harris, Sunday Times 'The best book in the field of British politics' Philip Collins, The Times 'Easily the best single-volume, cradle-to-grave life of Clement Attlee yet written' Andrew Roberts Clement Attlee was the Labour prime minister who presided over Britain's radical postwar government, delivering the end of the Empire in India, the foundation of the NHS and Britain's place in NATO. Called 'a sheep in sheep's clothing', his reputation has long been that of an unassuming character in the shadow of Churchill. But as John Bew's revelatory biography shows, Attlee was not only a hero of his age, but an emblem of it; and his life tells the story of how Britain changed over the twentieth century. Here, Bew pierces Attlee's reticence to examine the intellect and beliefs of Britain's greatest - and least appreciated - peacetime prime minister. This edition includes a new preface by the author in response to the 2017 general election.
Author: John Bew
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2017-01-25
Throughout the first half of the twentieth century, Winston Churchill's wartime heroics and larger-than-life personality propelled him to the center of the world stage. To most, he remains Great Britain's greatest Prime Minister, his fame and charisma overshadowing those who followed in his footsteps. Yet while he presided over his country's finest hour, he was not its most consequential leader. In this definitive new biography, John Bew reveals how that designation belongs to Clement Attlee, Churchill's successor, who launched a new era of political, economic, and social reform that would forever change Great Britain. Bew's thorough and keen examination of Attlee, the former leader of the Labour Party, illuminates how his progressive beliefs shaped his influential domestic and international policy. Alternatively criticized for being "too socialist" or "not radical enough," Attlee's quiet tenacity was intrinsic to the success of his party and highly pertinent to British identity overall. In 1948, he established the National Health Service as part of his "British New Deal"-a comprehensive, universal system of insurance, welfare, and family allowances to be enjoyed by all British citizens. Attlee also initiated key advancements in international relations by supporting the development of both the United Nations and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and by granting independence to India, Burma, and Ceylon. More controversially, he sanctioned the building of Britain's nuclear deterrent in response to the rise of the Soviet Union and the threat of atomic bombs. Clement Attlee: The Man Who Made Modern Britain explores his tenure in the years after the war, as he presided over a radical new government in an age of austerity and imperial decline. Bew mines contemporary memoirs, diaries, and press excerpts to present readers with an illuminating and intimate look into Attlee's life and career. Attentive to both the man and the political landscape, this comprehensive biography provides new insight into the soul of a leader who transformed his country and by extension the vast empire over which it once ruled.
Clement Attlee - the man who created the welfare state and decolonised vast swathes of the British Empire, including India - has been acclaimed by many as Britain’s greatest twentieth-century prime minister. Yet somehow Attlee the man remains elusive and little known. How did such a moderate, modest man bring about so many enduring changes? What are the secrets of his leadership style? And how do his personal attributes account for both his spectacular successes and his apparent failures? When Attlee became prime minister in July 1945 he was the leader of a Labour Party that had won a landslide victory. With almost 50 per cent of the popular vote, Attlee seemed to have achieved the platform for Labour to dominate post-war British politics. Yet just 6 years and 3 months after the 1945 victory, and despite all Attlee’s governments had appeared to achieve, Labour was out of office, condemned to opposition for a further 13 years. This presents one of the great paradoxes of twentieth-century British history: how Attlee’s governments achieved so much, but lost power so quickly. But perhaps the greatest paradox was Attlee himself. Attlee’s obituary in The Times in 1967 stated that ‘much of what he did was memorable; very little that he said’. This new biography, based on extensive research into Attlee’s papers and first-hand interviews, examines the myths that have arisen around this key figure of British political life and provides a vivid portrait of the man and his politics.
Elected in a surprise landslide in 1945, Clement Attlee was the first ever Labour leader to command a majority government. At the helm for twenty years, he remains the longest-serving leader in the history of the Labour Party. When he was voted out in 1951, he left with Labour's highest share of the vote before or since. And yet today he is routinely described as 'the accidental Prime Minister'. A retiring man, overshadowed by the flamboyant Churchill during the Second World War, he is dimly remembered as a politician who, by good fortune, happened to lead the Labour Party at a time when Britain was disillusioned with Tory rule and ready for change. In Clement Attlee: The Inevitable Prime Minister, Michael Jago argues that nothing could be further from the truth. Raised in a haven of middle-class respectability, Attlee was appalled by the squalid living conditions endured by his near neighbours in London's East End. Seeing first-hand how poverty and insecurity dogged lives, he nourished a powerful ambition to achieve power and create a more egalitarian society. Rising to become Leader of the Labour Party in 1935, Attlee was single-minded in pursuing his goals, and in just six years from 1945 his government introduced the most significant features of post-war Britain: the National Health Service, extensive nationalisation of essential industry, and the Welfare State that Britons now take for granted. A full-scale reassessment, Clement Attlee: The Inevitable Prime Minister traces the life of a middle-class lawyer's son who relentlessly pursued his ambition to lead a government that would implement far-reaching socialist reform and change forever the divisive class structure of twentieth-century Britain.
Author: Francis Beckett
Publisher: Haus Publishing
Release Date: 2015-08-15
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
As British prime minister from 1945 to 1951, Clement Attlee built a legacy that includes today’s famous—and controversial—National Health Service, yet he is often remembered as a rather dull political figure. Rejecting Winston Churchill’s jibe that Attlee was a “modest little man with plenty to be modest about,” this biography makes the case that his reputation as Britain’s greatest reforming prime minister is fully deserved. Building on his earlier work on Attlee and including new research and stories, many of which are published here for the first time, Francis Beckett highlights Attlee’s relevance for a new generation. A poet and dreamer, Attlee led a remarkable political life that saw, among other challenges, the beginning of the Cold War. Ultimately, this perceptive biography demonstrates that Attlee’s ideas have never been more relevant.
Author: Frank Field
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Release Date: 2009-03-28
In 1946, Clement Attlee came to power as Labour Prime Minister with a huge landslide majority. Under his leadership, some of the greatest reforms were initiated, not least the founding of The National Health Service. Attlee had a firm vision of a more just and equitable society, which the nation wanted. This firm vision is something that attracts Frank Field. To Field, Attlee is a hero. After retirement, Clement Attlee wrote a masterly series of profiles of his great contemporaries, many published at the time in The Observer. These are now collected together in a book for the first time. They are of extraordinary historical interest and will command an audience in their own right. In them we see how Attlee emphasised the importance of character for successful politics. To Field they epitomise the intellect and humanity of a hero of 20th Century politics, a man with profound qualities that are so poorly represented in today's politics. In a brilliant and most controversial introduction, Frank Field argues just how radical Attlee was, wishing, for example, to realign British foreign and defence policy. In his epilogue, Professor Peter Hennessy, shows the importance of Attlee in full historical perspective.
Author: John Bew
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2015-11-10
Genre: POLITICAL SCIENCE
Realpolitik is approaching its 160th birthday, though it has existed as a form of statecraft for centuries and is arguably as old as the conduct of foreign affairs itself. Associated with great thinkers from Machiavelli to Kissinger, it is deeply rooted in the history of diplomacy yet alsoremains strikingly relevant to debates on contemporary foreign policy in the Obama administration today. Despite the fact that Realpolitik has had something of a renaissance in recent years, however, it remains a surprisingly elusive notion, defying easy categorization. In this concise book, John Bew aims to address this gap, offering a history of the concept of Realpolitik in the English-speaking world: its origins as an idea; its practical application to statecraft in the recent past; and its relevance to the foreign policy challenges facing the United States andits allies in the future. Now most often associated with the conduct of foreign policy, Realpolitik has traditionally had pejorative connotations in the English-speaking world and sits uneasily alongside notions of "enlightenment," "morality" and "virtue." But it has also had its defenders, admirersand exponents, who regard it as the best tool for the successful wielding of political power and the preservation of global order. As such, Realpolitik has both successes and failures to its name, as Bew's comprehensive and even-handed overview displays.Bew begins by charting the evolution of the idea through the work of important thinkers or statesmen from Machiavelli, Cardinal de Richelieu, and Thomas Hobbes up through Carl Schmitt, Kissinger, and Dennis Ross. He then examines how Realpolitik has been evoked and operationalized in US and UKforeign policy during specific episodes in the twentieth century, looking at such cases as the overthrow of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh in 1953, and President Nixon's visit to the People's Republic of China in 1972 - often taken as the archetypal instance of Realpolitik in action. Bewthen uses this historical platform to look forward to emerging foreign policy challenges in a changing, multi-polar, geo-political scene - in which Realpolitik and agile statecraft seems as important as ever. Suggesting that there is a uniquely Anglo-American version of Realpolitik, which reflectsan attempt (not always a successful one) to reconcile Western ideological and moral norms with purely utilitarian conceptions of the national interest, Bew argues that a more accurate and sustainable version of Anglo-American Realpolitik is one that recognizes the draw Enlightenment values andideas.Directed at a broader audience of current policy-makers, legislators and commentators with an interest in foreign affairs, this is a brilliant introduction to an important topic from one of the field's rising stars.
Author: D R Thorpe
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: 2010-09-09
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
Great-grandson of a crofter and son-in-law of a Duke, Harold Macmillan (1894-1986) was both complex as a person and influential as a politican. Marked by terrible experiences in the trenches in the First World War and by his work as an MP during the Depression, he was a Tory rebel - an outspoken backbencher, opposing the economic policies of the 1930s and the appeasement policies of his own government. Churchill gave him responsibility during the Second World War with executive command as 'Viceroy of the Mediterranean'. After the War, in opposition, Macmillan was one of the principal reformers of the Conservatives, and after 1951, back in government, served in several important posts before becoming Prime Minister after the Suez Crisis. Supermac examines key events including the controversy over the Cossacks repatriation, the Suez Crisis, You've Never Had It So Good, the Winds of Change, the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Profumo Scandal. The culmination of thirty-five years of research into this period by one of our most respected historians, this book gives an unforgettable portrait of a turbulent age. Shortlisted for the Orwell Prize.
Author: Roy Hattersley
Publisher: Abacus Software
Release Date: 2012
Genre: Great Britain
A Welshman among the English, a nonconformist among Anglicans and a self-made man in the patrician corridors of power, David Lloyd George, the last Liberal Prime Minister of Great Britain, was the founding father of the Welfare State and was as great a peacetime leader as Churchill was in war. In this fascinating biography of an authentic radical, Roy Hattersley charts the great reforms - the first old age pension, sick pay and unemployment benefit - of which Lloyd George was architect, and also sheds light on the complexities of a man who was both a tireless champion of the poor, and a restless philanderer who was addicted to living dangerously.
Author: John A. Farrell
Release Date: 2017-03-28
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
From a prize-winning biographer comes the defining portrait of a man who led America in a time of turmoil and left us a darker age. We live today, John A. Farrell shows, in a world Richard Nixon made. At the end of WWII, navy lieutenant “Nick” Nixon returned from the Pacific and set his cap at Congress, an idealistic dreamer seeking to build a better world. Yet amid the turns of that now-legendary 1946 campaign, Nixon’s finer attributes gave way to unapologetic ruthlessness. The story of that transformation is the stunning overture to John A. Farrell’s magisterial biography of the president who came to embody postwar American resentment and division. Within four years of his first victory, Nixon was a U.S. senator; in six, the vice president of the United States of America. “Few came so far, so fast, and so alone,” Farrell writes. Nixon’s sins as a candidate were legion; and in one unlawful secret plot, as Farrell reveals here, Nixon acted to prolong the Vietnam War for his own political purposes. Finally elected president in 1969, Nixon packed his staff with bright young men who devised forward-thinking reforms addressing health care, welfare, civil rights, and protection of the environment. It was a fine legacy, but Nixon cared little for it. He aspired to make his mark on the world stage instead, and his 1972 opening to China was the first great crack in the Cold War. Nixon had another legacy, too: an America divided and polarized. He was elected to end the war in Vietnam, but his bombing of Cambodia and Laos enraged the antiwar movement. It was Nixon who launched the McCarthy era, who played white against black with a “southern strategy,” and spurred the Silent Majority to despise and distrust the country’s elites. Ever insecure and increasingly paranoid, he persuaded Americans to gnaw, as he did, on grievances—and to look at one another as enemies. Finally, in August 1974, after two years of the mesmerizing intrigue and scandal of Watergate, Nixon became the only president to resign in disgrace. Richard Nixon is a gripping and unsparing portrayal of our darkest president. Meticulously researched, brilliantly crafted, and offering fresh revelations, it will be hailed as a master work.
'Loathed, loved, terrorist to some, brilliant political strategist to others - what do we make of Gerry Adams? Malachi O'Doherty, one of Northern Ireland's most fearless journalists and writers, has gone further than anyone else to disentangle it all in this impressively measured and stylishly written biography - an illuminating read.' - Professor Marianne Elliott How did Gerry Adams grow from a revolutionary street activist - in perpetual danger of arrest and assassination - into the leader of Sinn Féin, with intimate access to the British and Irish Prime Ministers and the US President? And how has he outlasted them all? Drawing on newly available intelligence and scores of exclusive interviews, Malachi O'Doherty's meticulously researched biography sheds light on the history of this extraordinary shape-shifter. O'Doherty grew up on a 1950s Belfast housing estate, behind IRA barricades in his teens, and witnessed the start of the Troubles first hand; he is uniquely placed to expose the real man behind the myths in this compelling study. O'Doherty's experience as a journalist - at the BBC, on Belfast's newspapers, as correspondent for the Scotsman during the peace process, and as a commentator on Northern Irish affairs for the New Statesman - informs this authoritative account of one of the world's most controversial politicians.
Author: Simon Webb
Publisher: Pen and Sword
Release Date: 2016-01-31
For many of us, the very expression ‘Concentration Camp’ is inextricably linked to Nazi Germany and the horrors of the Holocaust. The idea of British concentration camps is a strange and unsettling one. It was however the British, rather than the Germans, who were the chief driving force behind the development and use of concentration camps in the Twentieth Century. The operation by the British army of concentration camps during the Boer War led to the deaths of tens of thousands of children from starvation and disease. More recently, slave-labourers confined in a nationwide network of camps played an integral role in Britain’s post-war prosperity. In 1947, a quarter of the country’s agricultural workforce were prisoners in labour camps. Not only did the British government run their own concentration camps, they willingly acquiesced in the setting up of such establishments in the United Kingdom by other countries. During and after the Second World War, the Polish government-in-exile maintained a number of camps in Scotland where Jews, communists and homosexuals were imprisoned and sometimes killed. This book tells the terrible story of Britain’s involvement in the use of concentration camps, which did not finally end until the last political prisoners being held behind barbed wire in the United Kingdom were released in 1975. From England to Cyprus, Scotland to Malaya, Kenya to Northern Ireland; British Concentration Camps; A Brief History from 1900 to 1975 details some of the most shocking and least known events in British history.
Author: Franz Neumann
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Release Date: 2013-07-14
During the Second World War, three prominent members of the Frankfurt School--Franz Neumann, Herbert Marcuse, and Otto Kirchheimer--worked as intelligence analysts for the Office of Strategic Services, the wartime forerunner of the CIA. This book brings together their most important intelligence reports on Nazi Germany, most of them published here for the first time. These reports provide a fresh perspective on Hitler's regime and the Second World War, and a fascinating window on Frankfurt School critical theory. They develop a detailed analysis of Nazism as a social and economic system and the role of anti-Semitism in Nazism, as well as a coherent plan for the reconstruction of postwar Germany as a democratic political system with a socialist economy. These reports played a significant role in the development of postwar Allied policy, including denazification and the preparation of the Nuremberg Trials. They also reveal how wartime intelligence analysis shaped the intellectual agendas of these three important German-Jewish scholars who fled Nazi persecution prior to the war. Secret Reports on Nazi Germany features a foreword by Raymond Geuss as well as a comprehensive general introduction by Raffaele Laudani that puts these writings in historical and intellectual context.
Author: J. D. Taylor
Publisher: Watkins Media Limited
Release Date: 2016-07-12
What is life like in England? Island Story weaves history and ideas telling a story of rebellion (think Brexit) and retail parks, migration and inertia, pessimism and disappearing ways of life, and a fiery, unrealized desire for collective belonging and power. Skeptical and inquisitive, Taylor cycled all round Britain with only a rusty bike and a tent, interviewing and staying with strangers from all walks of life. Without a map and travelling with the most basic of gear, the journey revels in serendipity and schadenfreude. Think you know the island? Island Story will have you think again.