Shop now Learn more Shop now Shop All Amazon Fashion Shop Suki Ad Campaign Pieces Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Amazon Fire TV Shop now Halloween Pets Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Voyage Listen in Prime Learn more Shop now
Start reading The Strange Death of Tory England on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here or start reading now with a free Kindle Reading App.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device


Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

The Strange Death of Tory England [Kindle Edition]

Geoffrey Wheatcroft
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: £6.49 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
* Unlike print books, digital books are subject to VAT.

Free Kindle Reading App Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.

To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition £6.49  
Hardcover --  
Paperback --  
Kindle Daily Deal
Kindle Daily Deal: Up to 70% off
Each day we unveil a new book deal at a specially discounted price--for that day only. Learn more about the Kindle Daily Deal or sign up for the Kindle Daily Deal Newsletter to receive free e-mail notifications about each day's deal.

Book Description

Has the most successful species in British political history finally become extinct? The Conservative party dominated British politics for 120 years from Disraeli's victory in 1874, culminating in an unprecedented eighteen-year spell in government after 1979. And yet at the very end of the century the Tories imploded so disastrously as to suggest the party might be doomed to follow the Liberals into oblivion.

Geoffrey Wheatcroft has observed this extraordinary drama at close hand, interviewing all the key players on (and, more often, off) the record. In this provocative and often acerbically funny book he examines how the Tories came to enjoy their unlikely triumph - and their spectacular decline.

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

Page of Start over
This shopping feature will continue to load items. In order to navigate out of this carousel please use your heading shortcut key to navigate to the next or previous heading.

Product Description


'Thoroughly enjoyable...we get all the gossip: the bitterness, rancour and contumely, and there are several smoking guns’ -- Rod Liddle, Sunday Times

‘A rattling good read’ -- Spectator

‘Every page of this book is a firework party, full of great sparks and explosions' -- Craig Brown, Mail on Sunday

‘Immensely readable and sardonic … one puts the book down chuckling, as well as feeling wiser’ -- Peregrine Worsthorne, New Statesman

‘Rarely has a wake proved so much fun' -- Sunday Times

From the Inside Flap

Acclaimed as one of the funniest political books in years, this is the story of the rise, fall and likely extinction of what was the most successful political species in Britain. Drawing on years of first-hand encounters with the architects of the Tories’ changing fortunes (from spirited exchanges with Thatcher to almost unprintable asides from Alan Clark) Geoffrey Wheatcroft’s acerbically funny and brilliantly indiscreet insider’s account shows how the unstoppable became unelectable.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 900 KB
  • Print Length: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (1 Sept. 2005)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #516,360 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 33 people found the following review helpful
This is a splendid book. Journalist Geoffrey Wheatcroft explores the reasons behind the slow decline of the British Conservative (Tory) Party, once the undisputed mistress of the British political scene, now reduced to a rump of quarrelsome, factional schisms, disunited, directionless and with no sense of being able to return to power. It's a wonderful read and I recommend that anyone interested in politics, contemporary history or ploitical thought packs this thoroughly enjoyable tale of a fall into the political wilderness in their holiday reading.
The tale is told by a canter through Tory party history; although the book was completed prior to Tony Blair's historic third Labour Party win in May 2005, the writing is clearly on the wall. Wheatcroft ably describes the twists and turns of policy and personalities in recent British history and his evocation of ideas and individuals, often with a few carefully chosen sentences, is superb. He (correctly in my view) identifies and dissects the reasons for the fall of the Tory party - disunity, the stealing of Thatcherism's thunder by Tony Blair and above all a total change in social outlook and mores to which point a recent Daily Telegraph correspondent could state 'we are all social democrats now'.
And the tale is told with admirable clarity and a wonderful acerbic humour. Here is Geoffrey on the Referendum Party - 'in many ways it was a risible affair, noisily supported at one glitzy gathering after another by such notabilities as...and altogether a fine cross-section of rich white trash; there has been nothing like it since the flapper in 'Vile Bodies' complained, 'The Independent Labour Party? Why haven't I been asked?'.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny, incisive and totally wrong 16 Jun. 2009
Great book, full of wit and insight into how it went so wrong for the Tories. Unfortunately, of course, with the benefit of hindsight, the main plank of the book - that the Tories are finished - proved premature; strange that the author came to this conclusion, as there are frequent references to Labour returning from the dead after 1983. Wheatcroft seems to think that Blair killed the Tories, but failed to look at what would happen post 2005 - Blair discredited and Brown a dismal failure. Read it for the wit, but not the crystal-ball gazing.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Humorous but insightful. 9 April 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
For most of the twentieth century the Conservative Party dominated British politics, however by the end they had been routed at the polls and appeared to have nowhere to go. Geoffrey Wheatcroft's book explains in a thought provoking but sometimes humourous way how the Conservative Party lost its way. His main conclusion seems to be that the era of Conservative dominance from 1979-1997 was in fact bad for the Conservative Party as a whole as it gained a reputation for being the nasty party due to its introduction of necessary but unpopular free market reforms. This meant that the old Tory One-Nation Conservatism which had been successful in the past was displaced by free-market radicalism which became increasingly unpopular and ultimately led to defeat in 1997 and also the Party becoming controlled by free market radicals who were dogamtic in their belief. All in all this is a very good book.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
18 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading, but flawed. 24 Jun. 2005
By Donaldo
The first thing to say about this book is that it is written by a conservative, so for those not of this political persuasion, parts of the book, such as the general praise of Thatcher will be hard to swallow. But I would still recommend it to all as an excellent study of the Tory party from within. It is written with real wit and carefull analysis. What's better, is that once you pick it up, you can't put it back down, and this is very much to the authors credit.
The attack on the Fogey Right and their obsession with Europe is particularly vehement, and fair. This section of the party which seems to have been in control for some time has repelled more voters than it has attracted, and for the forseeable future, this is something that does not look like it will be remedied. The author's lament of the fall of the old patrician spirit of the Tory party is just, and in many ways, is also the root of the problem. His demonstrates this well through examining the history of the Tory party. Truthfully, the party today appears to be in a wilderness similar in form to that it sruggled under against the power of the Whig party in the 18th century.
However, some of his analysis of some issues seems too one-sided, and his Conservative views overcome his judgement. This is lacking particularly in his section outlining the problems the Tory party had in The Troubles, in Scotland, the anti-Thatcher crusade of the 'intellectual left' and much of his narrative on Thatcher and her acheivements. With regards The Troubles, he rightly condemns Seinn Fein, but leaves it at that. He doesn't really expand on the problems the unionists created, or the frequently good causes fought by moderate elements such as the SDLP. He also fails to condemn Thatcher's policy of fighting fire with fire against the IRA.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't do what it says on the tin 27 Dec. 2007
This disappointing, ill-focused sprawl of a book does not live up to its title. Irrespective of its author's frequently one-sided views, a book called 'The Strange Death of Tory England' (as opposed to 'of the Tory Party') should be about England, and how English people played their part in the downfall of Major. Instead, Wheatcroft makes the fatal mistake of assuming that history is nothing more than the biographies of famous men; he concentrates on the experiences and views of only a few people at the top of the party (basically, his mates at the time), when it would have been so much more interesting and profitable to examine the views and values of the electorate, who, in the final analysis, are the only people in a democracy who can cause the 'strange death' of any political party or ideology. Worst of all, however, the book is almost entirely journalistic descriptiveness, despite the in-depth analysis promised by the title, which as a reader I really missed. Wheatcroft only starts analysis of the events he describes on page 269 out of 285, and even then, it is shallow and highly subjective. If you want to read a book that should be more accurately called 'The Conservative Party in the late 20th century from the viewpoint of one sympathetic journalist' then you'll like it. But for such a promising title, 'The Strange Death of Tory England' offers little more insight than if you had followed the events described in the newspapers at the time. Wheatcroft adds very little value here, and his book is best avoided.
Was this review helpful to you?
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Search Customer Reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for similar items by category