Michael Heseltine has enjoyed one of the most colourful and creative careers of modern British politics. This autobiography tells the story not only of his political life, but also of his business career.
The Thatcher years, and Heseltine's own sensational resignation over the Westland affair in 1986, are dignified but a little colourless. Thatcher's behaviour over Westland is viewed as "an affront to the standards of government in which I profoundly believed". The challenge to Thatcher in 1990 vividly recaptures the tense manoeuvrings for power that brought Heseltine within a whisker of the top job, whilst his account of the Major years offers engrossing but generous accounts of his by then junior colleagues, and his final startling dalliance with a challenge for the leadership following the resignation of John Major. Life in the Jungle is a fascinating portrait of one of the most charismatic and principled Conservative politicians of recent decades, and is required reading for anyone interested in British politics in the latter half of the 20th century. --Jerry Brotton
The author has a habit of glossing over major events - for example, the fall of Mrs Thatcher - an event that was pretty huge in anyone's book - occupies considerably less space than Mr H's National Service. Compare this with John Major's rather more (and I don't really mean this, but I can't think of a better word) HONEST account of his political life, and you start to see that you have bought into an ego trip.
You'd have to be a real Heseltine fan to enjoy this, I'm afraid....
It is a must read to find out what really happened in the 1980's and 90's as well as in his business and family life, information that you never knew about his life and that has never been public knowledge from not just a charismatic politician but also a truly world class statesman who was at the centre stage of political power for more than 30 years.
The fact that he thinks of it as a Jungle is worrying. Read more