Yes. This is a readable and persuasive rehabilitation of Lord Halifax, previously maligned as an arch appeaser. But this portrait, of a relaxed but hard working statesman, has one extraordinary omission: any mention of his long and intense relationship, sanctioned by his wife, with Baba Metcalfe, the enigmatic femme fatale daughter of Lord Curzon. She was still alive when this book was first published, so a revised edition might be overdue, since this added an important further strand to the analysis of his complex character. Particularly interesting, for example, would be any evidence of comment from his contemporaries on this unexpected complication to his life and image.
Having lived through WW2, and read extensively about it and the leaders involved, I was surprised to gain a completely different picture of Lord Halifax. The book reveals - drawing from many catalogued sources that - contrary to popular account - he ceased to support appeasing Hitler before the war, and was instrumental in buying time to build up the RAF. Churchill has been credited for this - but was not in government and able to do so before 1940, by when much had been achieved. The book reveals that our Navy was not equipped to prevent invasion, although, publicly, the belief was that the Royal Navy was invincible. The book states that the French Air Force had only twenty-one airplanes to repel the Germans, but I had read elsewhere that hundreds - perhaps thousands - of modern French fighters - that had never flown in battle - fell into German hands after France capitulated. Meanwhile the French kept calling for the RAF to protect them