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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very attractive man., 16 Sep 2003
This review is from: The Time of My Life (Paperback)
Throughout this autobiography the personality of Denis Healey is luminous. He is a very attractive as a politician as well as a man. There is a decency and genuiness that is difficult to write about, but it is invested in every chapter of this book. Healey is an hard-working school boy, an intelligent scholar, a brave, honest soldier, a generous, ambitious, loyal politician, and a witty and stylish autobiographer. He appears to be the type of man who we would wish to run the country and, unusually for a Labour man, appears to have attained the gentlemanly ideal of easeful excellence - he spoke French, German, Italian, Latin and Ancient Greek. He does not appear to suffer some of the inferiority complexes that his Labour colleagues did. Add to this what he has called his 'hinterlands' which with the reading that he does quote extend far both into the terrain of British and European literature, then we know we are perusing the words of a truly remarkable man.
He did not become Prime Minister: he is not perturbed. He only wanted to be leader of the Labour Party to save it from extremists and no-hopers which in light of the proceeding history is warranted. His life is a success from the point of view that he is recognised as the ablest defence secretary in the post-war years; he saved the British economy, and he was a great family man, which is a point often referred to and appears to be most important to him. I can't help but like and admire Denis Healey. However, and there is always a 'but' in any life, his view of the world is remarkably secure and certain. His beliefs are wide and allow him to absorb mostly everything, and he never appears to be out of his depth no matter who he is with. He has never, it seems, known despair or a great wrestling with himself, or even questioned deeply the whole purpose of politics. His aim, both simple and noble, was to prevent a Third World War. And that is what he spent his political life doing. He was a remarkable man, perhaps he was a great man.
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