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Harold MacMillan: Aspects of a Political Life [Hardcover]

Alistair Horne , Richard Aldous , Sabine Lee
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Hardcover, Sep 1999 --  

Book Description

Sep 1999
Over 35 years after Harold Macmillan's resignation in 1963, opinions are sharply divided over his achievements as a politician and prime minister. This volume contributes to the debate about Macmillan's political role, his successes and his failures, by examining key aspects of his political life. Biographers, historians and contemporaries present facets of Macmillan's life, his political visions, his skills, successes and failures in his personal life as well as in his domestic and foreign policies. With most official papers covering his active political life until his resignation now in the public domain, a more considered judgement about his party political and his governmental activities is possible. Taking account of this newly available documentary evidence, there is much yet to be written on Harold Macmillan's career, but this collection bears witness to the fact that his was a magnificent life.?
--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press (Sep 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312219067
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312219062
  • Product Dimensions: 22.3 x 14.4 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,396,884 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'Scholars of the Macmillan years will none the less find a great deal to interest them in this book. If the present view of Macmillan remains, as the editors suggest, that he was 'all style and no substance', there is much here that will serve as a corrective.' - D.J. Dutton, Contemporary British Politcs --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

About the Author

RICHARD ALDOUS is a college lecturer in Modern History at University College, Dublin. He edited Harold Macmillan and Britain's World Role (1996) and is writing a biography of Sir Malcolm Sargent.

SABINE LEE is lecturer in German History at the University of Birmingham. Her publications include An Uneasy Partnership British-German Relations between 1955 and 1961 (1996) and Harold Macmillan and Britain's World Role (with Richard Aldous) (1996). She is currently working on a biography of Sir Rudolf Peierls.
--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Although this is a book for the specialist it would readily become accessible to anyone who familiarised him or herself with Horne's official biography of Harold Macmillan. This book fills in welcome gap in the literature on Harold Macmillan. As well as being a superb summary of the political life of Harold Macmillan, it bridges the gap between the public perception of the amiable Etonian - 'The last Edwardian at Number Ten' - with the reality of a formidable political operator and statesman facing the threat of national decline and nuclear war with stoicism. Excluding autobiography and the official biography, if one was limited to book on Harold Macmillan this edited volume would be it. The book covers a number of aspects of Macmillan's life and attitudes which together illuminate the complex personality behind the enigma that was 'Supermac'. The contributors range from policy makers (Oliver Wright, Curtis Keeble) to the most prominent scholars of the Macmillan era (Horne, Aldous, Lamb, Lee). This creates a fascinating blend of anecdote and archival scholarship which provide a superb profile of the charismatic Prime Minister. Even when more peripheral issues are tackled (over Aldous' chapter on Macmillan's perceptions of Ireland, for instance) the narrative casts beams of lights that facilitate understanding of the central beliefs underlying 'Supermac's' world view. One quibble, perhaps, may be that the book would have benefitted from a seperate treatment of Macmillan's experiences in WW 1 - such were the effects of that conflict on his subsequent beliefs (explaining, for instance, his hard-line against the dictators in the 1930s as compared with his search for detente in the 1950s and 1960s). Read more ›
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