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Aneurin Bevan: A Biography: Volume 1: 1897-1945: 1897-1945 v. 1
 
 

Aneurin Bevan: A Biography: Volume 1: 1897-1945: 1897-1945 v. 1 [Kindle Edition]

Michael Foot
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

Michael Foot's two-volume biography of Aneurin 'Nye' Bevan (1897-1960) - arguably Britain's greatest socialist, indelibly associated with the founding of the National Health Service, - is one of the major political biographies of the last century. It is the life of an inspirational politician, written by one who knew and unabashedly admired him.

Volume I, first published in 1962, describes Bevan's life from his birth in Tredegar in the South Wales Valleys, through his abortive schooling, his employment at a colliery and the subsequent embrace of socialism that would make him a leader among South Wales miners. It follows his path to the House of Commons as a Labour MP with a fast-rising reputation as a defender of the working class; and his marriage in 1934 to fellow firebrand MP Jennie Lee. The volume closes with Labour's landslide election victory of 1945, and Bevan's appointment as Minister of Health.

About the Author

Michael Foot (1913-2010) was a writer, journalist and politician, leading the Labour Party from 1980 to 1983. His numerous books range from the withering polemic Guilty Men (co-written with Peter Howard and Frank Owen) about the hapless appeasers of the 1930s to his magnificent two-volume biography of Aneurin Bevan.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1900 KB
  • Print Length: 546 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0571248365
  • Publisher: Faber Finds (6 Oct 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00623JZZA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #169,822 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
By D. Bell
Format:Paperback
Nye Bevan's life story is one of heroic struggle not only to work his way up to free himself but also to drag up those of his class. He fought to keep his mind sharp and educated during the days he slogged his guts out in the mines. He fought for his own dignity and that of the working class. The romance of this story is expressed brilliantly by Michael Foot's impeccable turn of phrase. Not only do we read a great story but we also gain a great insight into the history of that era. This history is meticulously researched and substantiated. It is brilliantly argued both by Foot and through the words and actions of Bevan himself.

The period in the run up to the war saw many attacks on the living standards of the ordinary working people of Britain. Many were condemned to grinding poverty. None more so than the Miners. Bevan eloquently expressed these grievances. He was a staunch critic of his own Labour party (it's "illiberal, oligarchic methods of party machine") and Parliament ("The House of commons has reduced my people to such impotence what are we to do? You have deprived them of any voice any where....") He was a refreshing antidote to the vain, power-hungry opportunist careerists who have always bedevilled the movement by selling out when crunch time came. The leaders took to any means to stamp out dissent as they often still do. It is interesting to see some of the historical parallels with today best illustrated by Bevan's own words:

"One of the dangers of the sort of machine we have created is that we have made it comparatively easy for a large number of people to acquire prestige and status. Our Machine is more bureaucratic then democratic. The principle of selection from above has taken the place of election from below.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vol ! 22 April 2013
By Bet
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Yes a great read for me I have also got vol 2 and have read that too. Pleasure to read and informative
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Exciting, inevitably biased, a fine biography 2 Nov 2009
By Frank R. Southerington - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Michael Foot was for years on the far left fringe of the Labour Party, but he ended his political career as the party's leader. This biography shows us why. Foot demonstrates the affinity between himself and his subject. As a teenager I heard Bevan speak at an anti-Suez Trafalgar Square rally in November, 1956, and I have never forgotten Bevan's magnetism and persuasiveness, nor his apparently endless feud with his party leadership (on many issues Bevan was correct). Foot captures these wonderfully, because he shared Bevan's views and has (he is still alive in his late nineties) some of Bevan's charisma. Some readers will find the work biased, perhaps, but never dull. Amazon needs to point out that this edition is an abridgement of the two-volume first edition, and there are times when the reader can "feel" the missing material. Nonetheless, this is a lively, engaging, and honest portrait of a major British politician and a good man, by a warm friend and admirer. Incidentally, it is also a portrait of the making of a viable Nationall Health service more than half a century ago.
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