"Robin Harris combines a career of working for the party with the qualifications of a historian. He also writes beautifully, with a perilous sharpness. His account is highly entertaining."--Charles Moore, The Daily Telegraph
"A marvel of concision, lucidity and scholarship, with penetrating things to say about Peel, Disraeli, Churchill and the rest. His book can be read for pleasure as well as instruction."--Andrew Gimson, The Spectator
"Highly readable, with sparkling portraits of the leading figures, and the author's acerbic observations and pithy judgments, even when one does not agree with them, are always thought-provoking and sometimes pointed enough to make one laugh out loud...this is a good book. I am glad that it was written. And I'm glad that I read it."--The Times
"My expectations for this book were high; but Dr. Harris has exceeded them. This book is genuine history written with real authority...finely written and highly readable, with an undercurrent of dry wit running through its narrative."--ConservativeHome website
From the Inside Flap
The history of the Conservative Party is a story that has been at the heart of British politics for over 200 years. It features some of the very greatest of Britons - such as Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher - and it has had a crucial bearing on some of the most formative moments in the nation's past. Yet surprisingly it is also a story that has rarely been told in a single volume for the general reader. Now Robin Harris, historian and party insider, has produced this lively but authoritative book to fill the gap and bring two centuries of political history vividly to life.
Taking as his starting point the larger-than-life personalities of the party's leaders and prime ministers since its inception, Robin Harris's book also examines the interconnected themes and issues that have dominated Conservative politics over the years. The careers of Peel, Disraeli, Salisbury, Baldwin, Chamberlain, Churchill, Eden, Macmillan, Heath, Thatcher, Major, Hague and Cameron - and the political ideas that informed them - are analysed in forensic and fascinating detail. These portraits of some of the most powerful men (and one woman) in British history together form a vibrant and compelling narrative which shines new light on the history of Britain since the early nineteenth century.
This landmark book is essential reading for anyone with an interest in politics - past or future - or anyone who has ever wondered how, when and why Britain came to be the nation it is today.