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Harold Macmillan

Charles Williams

4 Reviews

Rated 0

Biography: historical, political & military, Prose: non-fiction

A masterly biography of a great Conservative Prime Minister (and publisher) - Harold Macmillan (1894-1986).

Harold Macmillan was Conservation Prime Minister from 1957 to 1963. Beneath the studied Edwardian manner he cultivated lay a subtle and acute intelligence and his reputation for unflappability, which he was careful to foster, concealed a surprising sensitivity.

Personified as 'Supermac' in Vicky's famous cartoons, he was an early master of the now widely used sound bite and his phrase-making still appears in quotation dictionaries; for example, 'a little local difficulty', 'a wind of change' and 'selling off the family silver'.

Charles Williams explores the life of one of the great political chameleons of the 20th century.

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Praise for Harold Macmillan

  • Charles Williams's thoughtful and well-informed new life...comes as a welcome treat...he captures better than any other writer the tensions between the different facets of Macmillan's personality. - Sunday Times.

  • Charles Williams' biography is an antidote to nostalgia...a lean compelling narrative with a more detached and critical point of view. - Literary Review.

  • [Williams] has produced a biography a model of its kind - diligently researched, gracefully written and never short of absorbing. - Daily Telegraph.

  • A fine achievement, fair in tone and spare in style. This thoroughly absorbing book chronicles the tragic odyssey of an almost-great man. - Independent.

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Charles Williams

Charles Williams, Lord Williams of Elvel, former industrialist and banker and now a Labour peer, was appointed to a life peerage in 1985. He served on the Opposition front bench from 1986 onwards and was elected Opposition Deputy Leader in 1989. He is one of Britain's most distinguished biographers.

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