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Conflict of Loyalty Paperback – 22 Sep 1995

3.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 768 pages
  • Publisher: Pan Books; 2nd Revised edition edition (22 Sept. 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330343750
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330343756
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 4.6 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 485,047 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Thankfully the memoirs of the second most important person involved in the "Thatcher Revolution" avoid the turgid self-justification and whitewash common to most politicians. These memoirs are far more readable than any prose delivered by Howe at the Despatch Box in his career. They present a better starting point for an understanding of the formation and execution of the Thatcher administration than most literature on the subject. Howe was crucial to the era and was responsible for the final destruction of Thatcher's political career. A must for all students of contemporary British Political History.
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I bought this book after the recent revelation that Geoffrey Howe had recommended young Turk William Hague (then 21) for a prominent position at the Treasury back in the 1980s.

Hilda Roberts, then the prime minister, rejected this proposal, calling it a gimmick. It was. It was worse; it was sheer stupidity. Clearly the former grocer's daughter from Grantham had some sense! Though she failed to see past both Jimmy Savile and Peter Morrison (her PPS); both pedophiles!

I suspected some Freemason favoritism at play here. Was there anything in the book to shed further light on Geoffrey's reasons to promote William Hague? Not really. Hague only gets two mentions in the book, the last on page 569 where Howe refers to Hague as "our excellent candidate" (he was defending Leon Brittan's seat) and the "party-conference prodigy of 1977". Oh well, I hadn't really expected the line "And he was great in bed!"

Interestingly, William Hague, now our incompetent Foreign Secretary, was the minister who ensured that Peter Morrison's name was overlooked in an investigation. Then Welsh Secretary, he did not "see" any details (Mail Online 27 October 2012). Well, we don't want prominent ministers going to jail for having sex with underage boys, do we?

The format of the book is well thought out. Short chapter (with relevant headings) which are subdivided with sub chapters. Makes the whole thing very readable, despite more than 700 pages. I also like the interesting footnotes, like the details of each local election.

Further, I like the fact that much of the book deals with events after 1979. So much better than Ted Heath's,
...Read more ›
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Although I enjoyed the book I felt it did not go deep enough into the subject matter. The parts of interest were of course the Demise of Thatcher...work the read though
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
- but lots of words in small type and over 600 pages.
I will skim read most of it, and try to glean a few facts.
This is my tribute to Maggie T.
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Format: Paperback
The usual attempt from a politician to rewrite history with himself in the starring role. As Chancellor of the Exchequer, Howe claims as his own the successes of his predecessor, Nigel Lawson. As Foreign Secretary, his policies amounted to appeasement of foreign aggressors and supine surrender to Europe. A mediocrity with a keen sense of entitlement, Howe glosses over his relationships with Michael Heseltine and Kenneth Clarke to bring down the elected Prime Minister over her policies for Europe. If you prefer history as fiction, this is the book for you. If you prefer history as fact, try Robin Harris for a more objective memoir of the time.
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