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Baldwin
Baldwin
by Keith Middlemas
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Informative and Detailed Book About the Dominant Figure in British Politics Between the Wars, 26 Mar. 2014
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This review is from: Baldwin (Hardcover)
Baldwin by Keith Middlemass and John Barnes is a good book about the man who more than any other dominated British politics in the 1920s and 1930s. While his rivals and contemporaries such as Lloyd George and Churchill are more well-known and have reputations that have stood the test of time, for a period of fifteen years or so Stanley Baldwin, the industrialist from the provinces, who had only entered serious politics when approaching middle-age, was the key man in almost all of the major events and policies of that time.

It is a well-written, informative and very detailed work, which although quite an intimidating length is worth the effort it takes to read. The one slight drawback that it has as a biography is that to counter-balance the hostile opinions put forth by Baldwin's official biographer among others it is perhaps a little soft on its subject and lets him off a little too lightly on some issues. All in all though it is a good book about an interesting man, and at the time a rather successful and popular politician, who has become overshadowed by his near contemporaries and whose reputation has never really recovered from being on the wrong side of history on the issue of foreign policy in the 1930s.


Almost President: the Men Who Lost the Race But Changed the Nation
Almost President: the Men Who Lost the Race But Changed the Nation
by Scott Farris
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.29

4.0 out of 5 stars An Interesting and Opinionated Book About the Men Who Could and Perhaps Should Have President, 26 Mar. 2014
Almost President by Scott Farris is a very good book about the men who lost in the contest to be President. While providing information on all the major party nominees who ran for the top-job but never quite succeeded, it goes into detail on the nine of them the author thinks had the biggest impact in the long-term on the United States. There is also a chapter dealing with the more recent elections of 2000, 2004 and 2008, where at the current time it is perhaps a little to early to ascertain whether the losing candidate has made a lasting impact upon the nation. It is a well-written, fast-paced and very opinionated work, and the evident bias may unfortunately be off-putting to some readers. All in all though it is a very good book about the men who very nearly made it right to top, and how even in defeat some of them changed their country.


Empire of the Seas
Empire of the Seas
by Brian Lavery
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A Very Good Introduction, 27 Nov. 2013
This review is from: Empire of the Seas (Paperback)
Empire of the Seas by Brian Lavery is a very good starting point for anyone interested in the history of the Royal Navy. The book is well-written and although not particularly detailed it is informative. This is not a definitive work on the Navy but it is a good general reader and an introduction to the topic. All in all a very good book and an excellent introduction.


The Prime Minister: The Office and Its Holders Since 1945
The Prime Minister: The Office and Its Holders Since 1945
by Peter Hennessy
Edition: Hardcover

3.0 out of 5 stars A Curious Book, 27 Nov. 2013
The Prime Minister by Peter Hennessy is a difficult book to make a judgement on. When it is good it is interesting and informative but unfortunately there are sections which are just not up to the standard of others. In the most part it is well-written and detailed but it is just too dry and technical at times which it does not make it the most interesting of reads. All in all it is a book of varying quality which does not live up to my expectations (although these were perhaps misplaced).


The Third Reich in Power, 1933 - 1939: How the Nazis Won Over the Hearts and Minds of a Nation
The Third Reich in Power, 1933 - 1939: How the Nazis Won Over the Hearts and Minds of a Nation
by Richard J. Evans
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.24

4.0 out of 5 stars A Very Good Book, 27 Nov. 2013
The Third Reich in Power by Richard J. Evans is a very good book detailing how the Nazi Party having gained power sought to dominate all aspects of Germany: politically, culturally and socially. It is well-written, detailed and opinionated and shows how the Nazis tried to pervade all aspects of life from morning to night and cradle to grave. The book itself is divided thematically but does have an overarching chronological narrative which helps to give the work a structure and flow. All in all a very good book.


Hitler's Hangman: The Life of Heydrich
Hitler's Hangman: The Life of Heydrich
by Robert Gerwarth
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.39

5.0 out of 5 stars The Making of a Monster, 27 Nov. 2013
Hitler's Hangman by Robert Gerwarth is a very good book dealing with one of the most infamous figures of the twentieth century. If the more well-known members of the Nazi regime came up with the distorted views and policies, Heydrich was the man who rigorously and ruthlessly implemented them. It is well-written and detailed and shows how Heydrich went from a middle class, cultured upbringing and a career in the navy, with very little hint of extreme nationalist beliefs to being one of the, if not the most, feared and hated man in Europe. All in all a very good book about the life and death of a monster.


Crisis, What Crisis?: Britain in the 1970s
Crisis, What Crisis?: Britain in the 1970s
by Alwyn W. Turner
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Book, 27 Nov. 2013
Crisis? What Crisis? Britain in the 1970s by Alwyn W. Turner is a good overview of this most tumultuous of decades. It is well-written and opinionated but perhaps lacks an overarching structure to hold the narrative together. While lacking some of the detail and depth of other works covering similar ground and the same period, it is nevertheless a good general history and a fine introductory volume. All in all an interesting book.


Rogue Tory: The Life and Legend of John G. Diefenbaker
Rogue Tory: The Life and Legend of John G. Diefenbaker
by Denis Smith
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Very Good Biography, 27 Nov. 2013
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Rogue Tory by Denis Smith is a very good book detailing the life of Progressive Conservative Prime Minister John Diefenbaker. It is a well-written, informative and opinionated work dealing with one of the more unlikely figures to become head of government in a major democracy. The character that emerges is an un-clubbable outsider, a leading figure in a very weak and divided opposition, who finally achieved power past his peak and without knowing what to do with it. This is also a good book for learning about Canada and the federal system, for example how provincial governments and parties relate to the national parliament. All in all this is a very good book about a fascinating character who almost certainly achieved power when he was no longer at the peak of powers and therefore was not able to utilise it as effectively as he once might have.


'Never Despair'. Winston S. Churchill 1945-1965
'Never Despair'. Winston S. Churchill 1945-1965
by Martin Gilbert
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Conclusion, 8 Aug. 2013
Never Despair by Martin Gilbert is an excellent concluding book to the multi-volume life of Churchill. The work itself is well-written, informative and detailed and deals with the period after Labour's huge victory in 1945 through his return to office in 1951 and the waning of his powers and health which eventually led to his final resignation and settling into a well-deserved retirement. This work is about the part of Churchill's life and career which receives the least attention as his achievements in this period simply do not have the same importance or historical relevance to what had gone before. Overall, a brilliant book.

The entire series of books offers an excellent account of the life of this most remarkable of individuals who achieved so much and was involved in almost all of the major decisions and events of the first half of the twentieth century and who when everything seemed to be lost emerged as the man of the hour.


Churchill, Winston S.: Road to Victory v. 7
Churchill, Winston S.: Road to Victory v. 7
by Martin Gilbert
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Good Book, 8 Aug. 2013
Road to Victory by Martin Gilbert is a very good book dealing with the time between America coming into the war to the defeat of Germany. The work itself is very well-written, informative and immensely detailed. The Churchill in this book is the global statesman who holds the Allies and the Soviet Union together but sees that his country is losing power and influence and has the foresight to know that the end of the war will be the start of a difficult, dangerous and problematic period. Overall, a very good book.


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