HOME TRUTHS: Life Around My Father Paperback – 1 Jul 2008
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• Hardback named on Sunday Express (Graham Ball)’s list of Best non-fiction of 2002.
• All daughters should read this book (Lynda Lee Potter).– Daily Mail
The life of John Junor, Fleet Street legend, explored in movingly honest detail by his daughter, the journalist and broadcaster Penny Junor. John Junor was a brilliant newspaperman. As editor of the Sunday Express for 32 years he wielded more power than many of the politicians he wrote about, mixing with prime ministers, princes, captains of industry and film stars. He was witty, charismatic and flirtatious; he was also a difficult, bad-tempered bully with a vicious tongue. Like him or loathe him, no one could ignore him, and his public life flourished. Yet his family life was far from idyllic. HIs domineering and destructive side led him to damage those he cared for the most, in particular, his wife. Although he never stopped loving her, they lived apart for the last 18 years of his life as she tried to rebuild the confidence that he had shattered. Two years after his death, Penny Junor was compelled to set down her father's biography, partly to celebrate the life of a powerful and influential public figure, and partly to come to terms with her own emotionally charged relationship with him.Drawing on interviews with his contemporaries, friends, adversaries and colleagues, as well as his own family, this is a fascinating portrait of both the public and private life of John Junor.See all Product description
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Junor, who edited the Sunday Express for many years, was a bullying boor who reduced his wife to a state of cowering timidity.
Yet at work he was a lickspittle acolyte of Lord Beaverbrook, being at his beck and call night and day, and a brown-noser of heroic promotions when in the company of 'the great and the good'.
Ms Junor evidently loved the old tyrant despite his shortcomings, but it's hard to see this book as anything other than a hatchet job. Her Dad does not emerge well from her depiction of his faults, and he lingers in the reader's mind as a vile old bigot famously averse to homosexuals and men with beards. That said, this is an enthralling read for anyone interested in a journalistic 'legend' who was a good deal less than he appeared to be.