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  • Virago
  • Virago
  • Little, Brown Audio

Kingmaker: Pamela Churchill Harriman's astonishing life of seduction, intrigue and power

Sonia Purnell

5 Reviews

Rated 0

United Kingdom, Great Britain, USA, Biography: historical, political & military, History: specific events & topics, Gender studies: women, Diplomacy

The sensationally gripping and revelatory biography of Pamela Churchill Harriman, one of the most influential women in 20th century politics, from the bestselling author of A Woman of No Importance

An electrifying re-examination of one of the twentieth century's greatest unsung power players, from the bestselling author of A WOMAN OF NO IMPORTANCE

'Fascinating and revelatory, written with great aplomb, insight and shrewd analysis. A triumph' WILLIAM BOYD

'A vivid, glittering, sexy, scintillating, beautifully written portrait of a woman who drove 20th century history even as history was driving her' LIZA MUNDY, bestselling author of The Sisterhood and Code Girls

'A deliciously seductive read' DENISE KIERNAN, bestselling author of The Girls of Atomic City, The Last Castle and We Gather Together

When Pamela Churchill Harriman died in 1997, the obituaries that followed were scathing - and often downright sexist. Written off as a social climber, her glamorous social life and infamous erotic adventures overshadowed her true legacy. Much of what she did behind the scenes to shape the twentieth century, on both sides of the Atlantic, remained invisible. That is, until now: with a wealth of fresh research, Sonia Purnell unveils for the first time the full, spectacular story of how Harriman left an indelible mark on the world today.

There is practically no-one in twentieth-century politics, culture and fashion whose lives she did not touch. Her influence began at age twenty, when her father-in-law, Winston Churchill, engaged her as a "secret weapon" during World War II, wining, dining and seducing Americans over to the British cause against Hitler. It continued later in the US, where she hand-picked Bill Clinton from obscurity and vaulted him to the presidency. It extended further, over five decades and two continents, influencing figures like the Kennedys, Nelson Mandela, Truman Capote, Gianni Agnelli, Kay Graham, Gloria Steinem and Frank Sinatra.

Written with the novelistic richness and investigative rigour that only Sonia Purnell could bring to this story full of sex, power, yachts, palaces and fabulous clothes, Kingmaker sets out Harriman's rightful place at the heart of recent history.

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Praise for Kingmaker: Pamela Churchill Harriman's astonishing life of seduction, intrigue and power

  • A meticulous history that reads like a thriller' BEN MACINTYRE, TEN BEST BOOKS TO READ ABOUT WORLD WAR II

  • 'A rousing tale of derring-do' THE TIMES

  • 'Riveting' MICK HERRON

  • 'Superb' IRISH TIMES

  • 'A cracking story about an extraordinarily brave woman' TELEGRAPH - Praise for A Woman of No Importance

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Sonia Purnell

Sonia Purnell is a biographer and journalist who has written for The Guardian, the Daily Telegraph, and The Sunday Times. Her biography of Virginia Hall, A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of Virginia Hall, WWII's Most Dangerous Spy, won the Plutarch Award for Best Biography and was a New York Times bestseller. Her book First Lady: The Life and Wars of Clementine Churchill was a book of the year in the Daily Telegraph, the Independent and Lenny Letter, and was shortlisted for the Plutarch Award for Best Biography. Her first book, Just Boris: A Tale of Blond Ambition, was longlisted for the Orwell prize.

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