Roy Jenkins Hardcover – 27 Mar 2014
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"Magnificent... A compelling account of a remarkable life" (Observer)
"Campbell is simply a master of the art... This book is effortlessly superior." (Dominic Sandbrook Sunday Times)
"Marvellous... The highest praise I can give to John Campbell's biography is that Roy Jenkins would have been proud to have been its author." (Alan Johnson Guardian)
"A riveting and vital contribution to an understanding of postwar British politics." (Matthew Engel Financial Times)
"A wonderful, readable book. Jenkins himself would have been proud to have produced a masterpiece of this calibre." (Leo McKinstry Daily Express)
The authorised biography of the best Prime Minister Britain never had
Winner of the 2014 Political Book Awards Political Biography of the Year
Shortlisted for the 2014 Samuel Johnson Prize
Shortlisted for the 2014 Costa Biography Award
Longlisted for the 2015 Orwell PrizeSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Had the tensions between left and right within the Labour Party not become so toxic during the 1970s, there is very little doubt that Jenkins would have become party leader and quite probably Prime Minister. Instead, he decided to leave parliament to take up the post of President of the European Commission. But on his return, when the Labour Party was showing every sign of lurching even further to the Left, Jenkins ended up leading the breakaway group that was briefly known as the Social Democratic Party, before merging with the Liberal Party to become the Lib-Dems we all know and love today.Read more ›
Campbell also does Jenkins's other lives well, especially the author role. His books on Asquith, Gladstone and Churchill are really classics of their kind and are given due attention. I was hoping for a list of words used by Jenkins not in the averagely well educated vocabulary but that never came.
I didn't really have a different view of Jenkins as a result of reading the book but what it did well was to identify some crucial moments in British politics when life might have gone differently and in several of which Jenkins was involved.How he would have hated the politics of the last decade.Look at the expression on Vince Cable's face and imagine the distaste of Jenkins for the way the system has gone.
In general, Campbell is excellent in putting Jenkins' career in a political and historical context. The main themes of Jenkins' political career: a commitment to Europe, progressive reform and a belief in a more tolerant, less prejudiced society are well described. He is also very good on Roy Jenkins' other distinguished career as a political biographer.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Early on, John Campbell makes clear his admiration for Roy Jenkins and, almost with child-like relish, asserts how pleased he is to be chosen (though not as the original pick) to... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Andy R
This was a great read, provides a fascinating insight into postwar politics with many echoes for the current struggles of the centre left and an affectionate but unflinching... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Richard_M
Not uncritical biography. Perhaps a little over-detailed at times but that's the price of being definitive, I suppose. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Mr. J. W. Black
Like all of the best life accounts, this book immerses the reader in the world of the era in which it is set: from Jenkins' not-so-humble beginnings in Pontypool, to his becoming... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Mike
The narrative is handled with pace. Lots of new details which help explain Jenkins' checkered history in the Labour Party.Published 11 months ago by deric b wood
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