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on 10 December 2013
This is an updated version of the original book, published in the 50th anniversary year of Stephen Ward's trial.

It's more than just a history of the trial, it's a biography of Stephen Ward, who he was, how he came to be who he was. And this set against the general tenor of the times.

There is a of of new research in the book, which is all the more improved for it.

Some Establishment spin is discredited; Stephen Ward did indeed, as he claimed, work for MI5, and does seem to have played a part in the Cuban Missile Crisis; the book gives the clearest exposition of this that I've read.

It's now quite clear that the Establishment needed a scapegoat, someone to divert attention from Profumo and Macmillan's failing government, and Stephen Ward was the man; it's also quite clear that he was 'set up'. There was no real evidence against him, but he wasn't so much tried for the criminal offences with which he was charged, he was tried because, in the view of the Establishment and some of the judiciary, he led an immoral lifestyle; they were criminalising a morality which they didn't approve of.

The book is clearly written, and it's easy to follow the rather tortuous turns in the period up to the trial.

It includes a brief summary of what happened to the main players afterwards; some were so sickened that they left England for good.

If you want a comprehensive account of what happened to Stephen Ward, one written without sensationalism, this is the one to go for.

If you want more detail, the authors refer to Geoffrey Robertson, who is preparing a legal appeal against Stephen Ward's conviction. Robertson's book is "Stephen Ward was innocent, OK"; it sets out the aberrations in the legal process, and makes a fine complement.

(On a more personal note, I can sort of remember the original trial; but I was too young to really understand what was going on. I was also far too naive, for I believed that the police and the judiciary were incorruptible, and that fairness would always shine through. Stephen Ward believed in this fairness, until he realised he had been deceived. I've had to wait 50 years to discover just how manipulative the Establishment could be.)
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on 10 July 2015
interesting
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on 18 November 2013
This is an updated and expanded version of an earlier book published in the 1980s, by Phillip Knightley and Caroline Kennedy. For the new publication, Kennedy has uncovered previously unseen and overlooked material, including Stephen Ward's unpublished memoirs, while also talking to many more witnesses who, until now, were reticent or negligent about talking openly of their own memories or involvement in the case. What emerges in this compelling and horrifying story, is how the authorities succeeded in mounting an outrageous campaign of smears and lies against society osteopath Stephen Ward, whose hounding resulted in a massive travesty and miscarriage of justice.

The publication of this new book could not be more timely, with the recent 50th anniversary of Ward's trial and death and the West End opening in December of the musical Stephen Ward by Andrew Lloyd-Webber. Kennedy creates a vivid picture of the whole wretched early 1960s climate of social hypocrisy, and especially the malice and corruption among police, politicians and the judiciary which led to the cold-blooded framing of an innocent man.
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on 18 December 2013
This is an absolutely gripping read about real life and real characters and one man particular, Stephen Ward. The osteopath who featured in the Profumo Affair of the 6o's and who was to become the victim of one the greatest miscarriages of justice in the 20th century. Meticulously researched with further evidence gleaned since the publication of her first book in 1987 Caroline Kennedy shines a light on the wickedness of the establishment bent on looking for a scapegoat. Falsely accused and cruelly prosecuted if you were ever a believer in 'truth will out and save me', this book will disabuse you of that idea very quickly. There is now a move afoot to clear his name, tragically too late for him, he died a victim of the so called great & the good.
Eye opening! Compelling! An absolute Must Read!
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on 30 December 2013
I read this book under its original title 'An Affair of State' which was hard to track down at the time, so I am very pleased to see this re-published and easily available version.

I became interested in the story of Stephen Ward as I knew it was to be the subject of a new Andrew Lloyd Webber musical and I wanted some background information on both the man and the "Profumo Affair" in general as it was just a vague historical event that I had never really understood.

I have since become fascinated with his story, thanks both to the musical, and in large part to this book. It is almost too extraordinary to believe, and indeed would be wholly unbelievable if created as a work of fiction.

Although I believe the musical gives a very entertaining "potted" version of the facts, if you really want to understand the many complex twists and turns of this ultimately devastatingly sad and outrageously unfair series of events, I highly recommend you read this book. A musical, or indeed film (the movie "Scandal" for example) can never begin to explain just how events unfolded and one thing lead to another until reaching their terrible conclusion.

This book is very well researched, and so obviously a work of much dedication. It is also extremely highly readable and so compelling that I had to read it solidly without putting it down. What could potentially be a very academic read is actually a gripping and eye-opening story of one of the most interesting periods of modern history, and one of the worst miscarriages of justice in the British legal system.
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on 9 January 2014
An updated version of the authors’ original 1987 book, now considered a classic, on the Profumo Affair and the framing of Stephen Ward. This meticulously-researched book is considered by many scholars and historians the absolute authority on the subject. It has been used as the basis for nearly all books published since then and is the principal reference for the current Andrew Lloyd-Weber musical, “Stephen Ward.”

Kennedy and Knightley (I am curious as to why their names have been swapped around for this version of the book) offer the reader a fascinating insight into the man at the very heart of this very British scandal. The authors were the first to clearly lay out the reasons as to why and how Stephen Ward was scapegoated. And they give a very vivid and frightening picture of the abuse of power from Macmillan downwards. Many people they interviewed spoke out for the very first time about the terrible and tragic events that threatened to totally disrupt their lives and ruin their reputations.

The result is a very poignant but also very relevant story in this day and age where political corruption, abuse of power and victimization still occurs. It seems, sadly, that governments, police forces and the judiciary have still not learnt from the terrible blunders of the past. And the Establishment still remains as unsavoury and as self-serving today as they always were.

I read this book in two days. I was so gripped, so infuriated, so caught up by the events that I couldn’t put it down.
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on 26 January 2014
I read this book after finishing Christine Keeler's "Secrets & Lies: Now Profumo is Dead, I Can Finally Reveal the Truth about the Most Shocking Scandal in British Politics" which was first published in 2002, and then updated and reissued after the death of Profumo in 2006. I would recommend anyone else to follow the same route. That book is co-authored by Douglas Thompson who in the foreword says of Keeler "I count her among the most honest people I've met". Anyone reading both these books and pursuing even the most minimal amount of research on the Profumo Affair would be extremely hard-pressed to understand what he means by this statement. That book is clearly not the whole truth.

The focus of this book is to get at the truth although the authors have to their great credit carefully reviewed many of the events that took place in terms of the circumstances and motivations that drove the individual people involved to act in the way they did. It is interesting to note the discrepancies that exist between the two books concerning some of the events which took place. Whilst some of these may be simply due to aging memories of those involved, it seems that Keeler in particular either plays down or omits to mention certain details in order to further her own case and character.

This book adds significant information concerning the involvement and role of the USA, and the FBI in particular, though it is clear that the Americans are still sitting on sealed files in just the same way as our establishment is in this country. As recently as yesterday there was an article in the press asking why the last remaining Profumo file has been buried for yet another 30 years and speculating on just exactly who it is that the establishment continues to protect after all these years.

This book does not pull any punches. Anyone looking at the evidence which has come to light must surely deem the trial of Stephen Ward to have been a complete farce and a travesty of justice. The behaviour of some of the leading players such as the police officer responsible for conducting the investigation and the judge appointed to the trial was completely appalling. Some of the people directing their actions behind the scenes still remain hidden from view, and the whole thing stinks to high heaven.

Do read this book if you have an interest in the Profumo scandal. It provided a lot of additional information and clarity for me. If you are just a regular citizen going about your business trusting in the British justice system to uphold both the law and the core standards of decency for the human race, you will be surely shocked; and woefully disappointed that the outrageous behaviour of "the establishment" orchestrated such an unfair and totally reprehensible destruction of one man's life and reputation in order to cover up their own misdeeds. Sadly, it appears to continue to this day.
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on 25 March 2014
Alarming book.
How did the establishment get away with causing the death of this man?
I hear there is a case pending appeal. I do hope that is true.
Accountability is a real word and applies to an almost infinite time scale.
Especially the event on 31st July 1963 - the day Stephen Ward took an overdose.
Eric Beasthead.
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on 25 May 2014
Having lived through the events at the time, I would have found this subject-matter interesting however it was written up. In fact it's well-presented, reminded me of several things I'd forgotten and told me several things I didn't know. It certainly fulfilled its aim as set out in the title, but it somehow didn't quite bring Ward's character into focus: On the one hand there was the support and friendship he got from people at widely different levels of society, and on the other hand there were so many occasions when he seems to have behaved like a pimp. On top of his many talents there does seem to have been good in him -- but you wouldn't want your daughter to meet him. I felt there was room for a balanced assessment of his character and I didn't really find one here.
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on 28 January 2014
Whatever you thought about Ward, he was treated as a scapegoat for the ills of the government and famous people of the time. Well researched, written and a detailed examination of the "swinging " sixties.
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