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Semi-Detached Hardcover – 9 Dec 2013


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Biteback Publishing; First Edition edition (9 Dec. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849542392
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849542395
  • Product Dimensions: 24 x 4.2 x 15.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 624,507 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

The book is particularly striking as it reveals that throughout his literary career he faced debilitating depression. --Catholic Times

The book is very special, standing as a tribute both to Lady Biffen as well as to her much loved husband. --Shropshire Star

It's rare to read a political memoir so untainted by malice or self-justification. The most loyal and straightforward of men was the verdict of Brian Walden, who conducted the fateful television interview. Biffen's thoughtful, conscientious, self-effacing and unerringly honest character shines through every page. The puzzle is, how on earth did a man like that ever end up in Mrs Thatcher's cabinet? --The Spectator

This is a very personal history from a private man, a man of idea with sensitive feeling and with no pretence... He described himself as a "Tory Fabian", and his collected reflections are more self-critical and humane than many written by his contemporaries. --Total Politics

Semi-Detached by John Biffen himself is where it belongs in the public arena and certain to reach the book shelves of a wide and appreciative audience. --Market Drayton Advertiser

John Biffen was one of the most liked and admired parliamentarians … The results [of his diaries] are charming. --Times Literary Supplement

It's rare to read a political memoir so untainted by malice or self-justification. The most loyal and straightforward of men was the verdict of Brian Walden, who conducted the fateful television interview. Biffen's thoughtful, conscientious, self-effacing and unerringly honest character shines through every page. The puzzle is, how on earth did a man like that ever end up in Mrs Thatcher's cabinet? --The Spectator

About the Author

John Biffen, born in Somerset in 1930, rose from simple rural roots to become a distinguished politician. He served in Parliament for thirty-six years, occupying several positions in Margaret Thatcher's governments, and is perhaps best known for his role as Leader of the House of Commons 1982-87. Biffen overcame numerous obstacles to sustain a successful career in politics. Not only did he recover from clinical depression to make a widely celebrated return to the shadow Cabinet; he was also an effective Trade Minister for over a year, despite his fierce dislike of foreign travel. A great admirer of Margaret Thatcher, Lord Biffen was nonetheless staunch in his individual views. Many attacked him for his outspoken criticism while in government, amongst them Thatcher's press secretary, Bernard Ingham, who most memorably called him 'semi-detached'. Known for his gentle wit as well as his keen intelligence, Lord Biffen was one of the most popular politicians of recent history, despite serving in its most polarising government. He died in 2007.

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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Roger Mitchell on 18 Mar. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Dull. Interesting life, expected far more inside revelations especially about his political experiences.maybe he wasn't well when he wrote it? But that could have liberated him?
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