When John Smith died in May 1994 a nation mourned for an immensely popular politician who would have gone on to become a great Labour Prime Minister. Now, over ten years later, his family have granted Mark Stuart their full cooperation, and unlimited access to John Smiths private papers, to write the definitive, authorised account of his life. Stuart tells of Smith's strict Presbyterian upbringing and his youthful rebellion at Glasgow university where he started his lifelong friendship with Donald Dewer, through his stellar career at the Scottish bar and onto his political journey to become the most popular Labour leader of modern times. But the biography also reveals a darker side to personality: his heavy drinking and explosive temper which threatened to ruin his marriage. Peppered with insights and anecdotes culled from over three years of research and interviews, Mark Stuart has written the most important political biography of 2005.