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The Tories are back! If the memory of John Major's government is now faded (or entirely before your time), this cheerfully sardonic book gives you the 20th century history of the Tories from their assault on the Liberal party in the 1920s right through to the fag-end of Majorism in 1997. If you are wondering why David Cameron was so willing to do a deal with Nick Clegg, a consideration of this book will give many of the answers: much of his carefully designed coalition was exactly to avoid the situation in which Major found himself, wrestling with an intractable party which was stuck in its own past and unable to recognise that its internal divisions were the main cause of its woes.

As a non-Tory, almost all of this book was new to me when I first read it. I confess I did read it very much in the frame of 'know your enemy'. Nonetheless, it gave me insights I had not encountered elsewhere, and a key to understanding the failure (successively) of Hague, Duncan-Smith and Howard to gain traction with the electorate, and, indeed, to survive beyond the first signs of their own weakness.

An incisive and educating read, even though it finishes in 1997.
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