- Paperback: 1200 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins; New edition edition (13 Sept. 1993)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0006379559
- ISBN-13: 978-0006379553
- Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 13.2 x 5.6 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 266,431 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Harold Wilson Paperback – 13 Sep 1993
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‘One of the great political biographies of the century’ A.N. Wilson, Evening Standard
‘Admirable and engrossing … Professor Pimlott’s picture of life at Number 10 and the strife within is vivid and unforgettable’ Daily Telegraph
‘A masterly piece of political writing’ New Statesman
‘The narrative gallops along, sweeping the reader with it in a rush of excitement. A mass of complex detail is marshalled with the art that conceals art’ Times Literary Supplement
‘Fascinating … Pimlott the X-ray has produced a work of formidable penetration’ Observer
‘His narrative is quite outstanding – clear, thoughtful and gripping … Some biographies enter the political discourse at once, thanks to their innate qualities and lucky timing. There are so many echoes of the Wilson years in the politics of today that this happy fate must surely belong to Pimlott’s book’ Andrew Marr, Independent--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
From the Back Cover
“The rehabilitation of Wilson has begun – and Ben Pimlott, the best British political biographer now writing, has made a hugely impressive job of it…His narrative of the young Wilson, from sickly boy scout to academic pupil of the formidable William Beveridge, and then to chirpy junior minister is quite outstanding – clear, thoughtful and gripping. This early part of the book, is quite central to its larger achievement, since Pimlott shocks the reader out of basic anti-Wilson prejudice by demanding a human sympathy for him. The little, blinking, stubborn boy, hiding his hurt with cocky self-confidence, lives on as a permanent presence within the powerful politician…Some biographers enter the political discourse at once, thanks to their innate qualities and lucky timing. There are so many echoes of the Wilson years in the politics of today that this happy fate must surely belong to Pimlott’s book. Wilson’s sour relationship with the press (and the terrible problems it caused for him) – the conflict within him between national leadership and good part management – even the growing debate about national decline – are all suggestive and worth lingering over. As, indeed, are almost all of these 734 well-researched and finely written pages.”
ANDREW MARR. 'Independent.'
“A masterly piece of political writing.”
BERNARD CRICK, 'New Statesman.'
“The narrative gallops along, sweeping the reader with it in a rush of excitement. A mass of complex detail is marshalled with the art that conceals art.”
DAVID MARQUAND, 'Times Literary Supplement.'
“Fascinating, Pimlott the x-ray has produced another work of formidable penetration.”
ROY JENKINS, 'Observer.'
“Admirable and engrossing…Professor Pimlott’s picture of life at Number 10 and the strife within is vivid and unforgettable.”
ALLAN MASSIE, 'Daily Telegraph.'
“The best biography of the year.”
ANDREW MOTION, 'Observer.'
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Top Customer Reviews
Ben Pimlott leaves no stone unturned in this epic biography, with almost every aspect of Wilson’s life and career receiving intense analysis. You may not agree with all of the analysis (for instance, Wilson does not get enough credit for his efforts to settle the complicated Rhodesian crisis), but Pimlott’s diligence cannot be faulted – this weighty tome must have taken him years to write – and the majority of the time he tries to be even-handed. (That said, the new foreword to the 2016 edition is a New Labour diatribe and worth avoiding!)
Because the book is so thorough though, it is not for casual readers. But anyone interested in studying the intricacies of political history should find it fascinating.
Throughout the book Pimlott questions the extent of Wilson’s socialist credentials. Much is made of Wilson’s trips to Russia and other communist countries, and his praise of their economic planning. An interesting chapter focuses on his relationship, and paranoia, with the American and British secret services. Here, Pimlott describes the fears of many, that Wilson was a communist mole. However, Pimlott argues that despite Wilson’s socialist intentions the political and social climate of the 1960’s and 70’s, did not allow for radical socialist programmes.
Pimlott also draws attention to the ideological tensions with Gaitskell throughout Wilson’s political career, exploring how disagreements developed between the 1949 devaluation crisis to the leadership challenge in 1960, and how this affected his relationship with his party. Pimlott is keen to emphasise much of Wilson’s success lay in meeting the centre ground between the right and left, regarding the Labour leader as a great ‘conciliator’.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Has to be one of the best biographies of Harold Wilson ever written.Published 6 months ago by David Hurlston
excellent book. best bio of wilson. good judgements too and surprisingly easy read for such a large tome. Buy itPublished on 21 May 2014 by Patrick
Loved his writing and the extent of the detail. Definitely recommend this to all interested in British politics. Very good.Published on 13 April 2014 by Miranda M.
this is a good read and very easy to read. The book was in ok condition seeing as I didn't pay that much for it.Published on 29 Aug. 2013 by J. Jewels