In the 1976 Labour Party leadership election following Harold Wilson's surprise resignation as Prime Minister, the then Foreign Secretary Jim Callaghan was Wilson's favourite to succeed him. The main candidate of the Left was Michael Foot. The three most prominent standard bearers of the modernizing tendency inside the Party were Roy Jenkins, Denis Healey and Tony Crosland. All three had been exact contemporaries at Oxford University and each had more in common than separated them. Yet they could not get together and sort things out between them - and Callaghan won. Giles Radice's comparative biography of this group is an analysis of how the combined overall achievement of the three amounts to less than it might have been - how friendship and mutual rivalry, despite individual eminence and brilliance, are corrosive and damaging forces.