24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Good, but could have been great.,
This review is from: Like The Roman: The Life of Enoch Powell (Paperback)
Enoch Powell remains one of the most fascinating figures of the 20th Century British political scene: outspoken and forthright, a man of integrity, ever constroversial. As such, a figure suitable for a lengthy and in-depth tome. And in many ways, Heffer has produced a passable biography. However, as a long-standing friend, Daily Mail journalist Heffer could surely have delved deeper into the motivations for and reasoning behind Powell's speeches on race and on economics (his thinking on economic policy formed the basis for Thatcherism), rather than focusing primarily on Powell as a politician. The inevitable centring on Powell's 1968 'Rivers of Blood' speech (from which the book borrows its title) actually works well, but Heffer's style often grates, and he distracts from his subject by frequently going into depth where he needn't, at other times neglecting to study further apparently important concerns regarding Powell's life. He also appears obsessed with Powell's sexuality in the early stages of the book. A good read (and apparently well-researched) in many ways then, but this is probably more a result of the subject's fascinating life than the author's contributions. Worth a look.