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Memoirs Paperback – 5 Aug 2004

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Product details

  • Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Abacus; New Ed edition (5 Aug. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0349118280
  • ISBN-13: 978-0349118284
  • Product Dimensions: 12.5 x 3.7 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 139,405 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

these memoirs ... are in a different league from those written by his accomplices in the Thatcher and Major administrations (Simon Heffer, LITERARY REVIEW)

Hurd ... is a heavyweight. As prose, his memoirs stand comparison with those of Denis Healey and Roy Jenkins (Andrew Billen, THE TIMES)

full of entertaining vignettes ... wry, understated and self-deprecating ... a first-rate account of the life of a man who was a credit to a profession that it is fashionable to despise (John Major, MAIL ON SUNDAY)

Keenly observant and self-aware, and a master of the telling detail ... [With] its quiet wit and frequent insights, this is a beautifully written book, well worth waiting for (Nigel Lawson, SUNDAY TELEGRAPH)

Book Description

** An uncommonly well-written political memoir by a man who has been at the heart of government for a generation. ** '... in a different league from those (memoirs) written by his accomplices in the Thatcher & Major administrations' Simon Heffer, LITERARY REVIEW

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I have read many Political accounts or memoirs and this was a very thorough and concise read about former MP Douglas Hurd. He is a very amiable Politician, well respected. Served both PMs of Heath and Thatcher. His one striking feature is he holds no personal grudges or has any visible edge. If you are into Politics - its worth a go...
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Paul on 25 Mar. 2011
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Douglas Hurd, the son and grandson of Conservative MPs won a scholarship to Eton, he then won a scholarship to read classics at Trinity college Cambridge but then chose to study history. He was awarded a First and then came top in the Foreign Office Entrance exam and joined the diplomatic service. You might imagine from all this that Douglas Hurd was a rather clever and well educated man who was able to use his extraordinary ability for the public good, but in this memoir he expertly paints a picture of a lazy, shallow individual lacking in imagination or indeed enthusiasm for anything.

The contrast between Margaret Thatcher's memoir 'Downing Street Years' and this book is striking. While Mrs Thatcher provides evidence of her political philosophy and when discussing policy decisions, explains the pros and cons of the preferred policy, the pros and cons of alternative policies, and carefully explains the eventual decisions, Douglas Hurd doesn't bother with any of that. He just tells you the decisions he made. As an example, it is quite clear that Douglas is quite unconvinced that Prison deters crime and he is also resolutely opposed to the death penalty. When as Home Secretary he was faced with a growing prison population, his solution was to increase the remission for good behaviour in prison from one third of the sentence to one half. This decision has, in the opinion of many people and perhaps most UK voters, made the UK justice system a joke. Virtually every prisoner is released after serving just half their sentence which in the UK are much lighter than in the USA.
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