|Books about Government|
Posted on Jul 29, 2002 – 08:19 AM by Anthony Waldstock
This is a selective catalogue of books about London and British Government which are in print and available from most high-street bookshops and the on-line bookstores. The catalogue is a growing one and more books will be added as they are published. Some out of print books can be found in specialist bookshops and, sometimes, in the major on-line bookstores. If you are having difficulty in finding a particular book, whether in or out of print, we might be able to help you. Contact us for details of our .
1: The Prime Minister: The Office and Its Holder since 1945Analysing the special chemistry of life in Number 10 Downing Street, Peter Hennessy scrutinises what the Prime Minister actually does and the way that Cabinet government is run. He draws on unprecedented access to many of the leading politicians and also recently declassified, electrifying archival material. He illuminates Prime Ministerial attitudes towards, and authority over, such topics as nuclear weapons policy, the planning and waging of war, and foreign crises from Suez to the Falklands. He concludes with controversial assessments of each Prime Minister’s performance and outlines a new profile of the premiership for the 4th century.
2: Statecraft: Strategies for a Changing…In Statecraft, Margaret Thatcher, a unique world figure, discusses global military, political, and economic challenges of the twenty0first century. The former British Prime Minister brings her unrivaled political experience to comment on the threats that democracy faces at the dawn of the new millennium and the role Western powers should play in the world’s hotspots, especially in the aftermath of September 11, 2001.Reflecting on the lessons of the Cold War, she outlines the foundation of U.S. dominance and its mission as the only global superpower. Thatcher offers wise observations about the dangers posed by Balkan instability, rogue states, Islamic extremism, and international terrorism — and suggests strategies to counter them. She also examines current trends in Russia, China, India, the Far East, Europe and Great Britain, and offers guidance for the future. Noting how every contemporary problem evokes demands for a global solution, Thatcher also warns of over-reliance on international institutions at the expense of nation states. Statecraft is an incisive treatise on power in the age of globalism, written by a legendary world Statesperson with a matchless combination of principles, experience and shrewdness.
3: The Iron Lady:A Biography of Margaret Thatcher by Hugo Young. This was a number-one bestseller upon publication in England under the title “One Of Us.” Political journalist Young’s biography offers a popular, thorough, and astute account of an extraordinary and controversial career. Margaret Thatcher is one of the most remarkable political phenomena of the 20th century. She is also a figure of profound paradox. The Iron Lady follows Mrs. Thatcher’s political formation from her beginning as a small-town alderman’s daughter to her emergence as the senior statesman of the Western world.
4: John Major: The AutobiographyJohn Major’s autobiography is one of the most personal and revealing ever written by a former British Prime Minister. Eagerly awaited, the remarkable story of his life, from an extraordinary childhood to becoming an influential leader at the forefront of global politics and subsequent fall, is candid, scrupulous, and unsparing. With complete candor and compelling insight, Major describes how he left school at fifteen, was unemployed, and through hard work and determination was elected to Parliament as a member of Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative Party, which would transform Britain. Quickly becoming one of Thatcher’s Cabinet members, he served as Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Foreign Secretary, and then Chancellor of the Exchequer, the powerful position from which he vaulted to Prime Minister in 1990 when, after Thatcher fell, he fought and won a shrewd campaign to succeed her. Major vividly recounts his role in shaping some of the most profound world events, including conferring with George Bush on the Gulf War, making the most decisive steps in a generation toward peace in Northern Ireland, leading Britain through the formation of the European Union, and calling a general election in 1992 in which his party won the most votes in British political history. Yet within months of the 1992 election his government was in troubled waters, and Major is candid about his difficulties and losses and the controversies and divisions within his own party. Here is a fascinating story of a man, his passion for politics, and the genuine and significant contributions he has made to the lives of the British and people around the world.
5: Keepers of the Kingdom : The Ancient Offices of BritainThe English are famed for their love of pageantry, theatricality, dressing-up, secrets, rituals, cricket, irony, the past–in fact, anything with which to disguise themselves and baffle onlookers. A foreign journalist said recently that it is the only country in the world where the children behave like adults and the adults like children. There could be no better introduction to this topsy-turvy wonderland than this lavishly illustrated guide to all those weird offices that still exist–offices that in any other country would have been quietly and efficiently abolished ages ago. Here is the Chief Butler and Grand Carver of England (the Earl of Denbigh, by hereditary right), the High Almoner, the Lord Warden of the Stannaries (responsible for “knackt bals”–don’t ask!), and the Herb Strewer at the Coronation. It is all undeniably arcane and faintly ridiculous, but the child in us all will find it a hugely entertaining splash of color and eccentricity in an increasingly drab and uniform global culture.
6: The Thatcher Revolution:Margaret Thatcher, John Major, Tony Blair, and the Transformation of Modern Britain by E. A. Reitan. In “Tory Radicalism”, prominent historian Earl A. Reitan studied the public policy agendas of Margaret Thatcher and her successor, John Major. Now extensively revised and extended, The Transformation of Modern Britain looks not only at Thatcher and Major, but also at the first ministry of Tony Blair. As Reitan examines the polices adopted by three revolutionary Prime Ministers, he insightfully illuminates the broader implications of the leaders’ profound influence on British politics and society. Reitan pays particular attention to the rise of New Labour,” as led and defined by Tony Blair, as well as the extent to which the objectives of the movement were achieved. Written clearly and concisely, The Transformation of Modern Britain is essential reading for anyone interested in the state and future of modern Britain.
7: Churchill: A BiographyWinston Churchill is an icon of modern history, but even though he was at the forefront of the political scene for almost sixty years, he might be remembered only as a minor player in the drama of British government had it not been for World War II. In this magisterial book, Roy Jenkins’s unparalleled command of the political history of Britain and his own high-level experience combine in a narrative account of Churchill’s astounding career that is unmatched in its shrewd insights, its unforgettable anecdotes, the clarity of its overarching themes, and the author’s nuanced appreciation of his extraordinary subject.
From a very young age, Churchill believed he was destined to play a great role in the life of his nation, and he determined to prepare himself. Jenkins shows in fascinating detail how Churchill educated himself for greatness, how he worked out his livelihood (writing) as well as his professional life (politics), how he situated himself at every major site or moment in British imperial and governmental life. His parliamentary career was like no other — with its changes of allegiance (from the Conservative to the Liberal and back to the Conservative Party), its troughs and humiliations, its triumphs and peaks-and for decades almost no one besides his wife discerned the greatness to come. Jenkins effortlessly evokes the spirit of Westminster through all these decades, especially the crisis years of the late 1930s and the terrifying 1940s, when at last it was clear how vital Churchill was to the very survival of England. He evaluates Churchill’s other accomplishments, his writings, with equal authority.
Exceptional in its breadth of knowledge and distinguished in its stylish wit and penetrating intelligence, this is one of the finest political biographies of our time.
8: Disraeli: A Picture of the Victorian AgeDisraeli: By Andre Maurois, translated by Hamish Miles. Victorian England comes alive in this biography written in 1928 by the great French writer.
9: DisraeliPart of the Lost Treasures Series, Robert Blake’s masterly biography of Benjamin Disraeli, the great British Prime Minister, Conservative leader, and man of letters. Benjamin Disraeli (1804-81), Earl of Beaconsfield, Prime Minister of England (1868 and 1874-80), and Conservative leader, was one of the greatest and most colorful political figures in British history. A confidante of Queen Victoria, tireless champion of England, parliamentarian of genius, Disraeli was also a superb and enduring novelist and correspondent. This monumental portrait by Robert Blake is considered by many to be one of the finest political biographies ever written.
10: Gladstone: A BiographyRoy Jenkins has taken one of the towering figures of nineteenth century Britain and fleshed him out brilliantly in this biography that has been an award-winning bestseller in the U.K. William Ewart Gladstone was British Prime Minister four times, a unique accomplishment, and a founder of the Liberal party and the modern democratic Parliamentary system. His were the last efforts made by any British politician that had a good chance to resolve the situation in Ireland. He was a great scholar and linguist, a wonderful orator, a devout Christian, and a vigorous walker and tree-feller. But he was also a deeply passionate man, constantly aghast at his own sexual impulses and the means he sought to relieve and divert them. It is extraordinary to read how the British Prime Minister would stand undisguised in Piccadilly, one of London’s busiest streets, and accost prostitutes and try to talk them round from their fallen ways. He was a mild flagellant and enjoyed being disgusted by moderately pornographic books. In short, he was complicated, and Jenkins, with a delicate, wise, and often funny hand, has rendered this apparently contradictory Gladstone whole – a genuinely interesting and commanding figure whose life forms a great part of the history of nineteenth-century Britain.
11: Lloyd George and the Lost Peace:From Versailles to Hitler, 1919-1940 by Antony Lentin. This lively book re-evaluates six salient aspects of Lloyd George’s role in the “lost peace” of Versailles. In a reexamination of six controversial episodes 1919-1940, it reviews his protean role at the Paris Peace conference, 1919, his strategy on reparations, his abortive guarantee treaty to France, and the emergence at the Conference of Appeasement. It then reassesses his controversial visit to Hitler, and his bids to halt WWII after the fall of Poland and France.
12: As I Said to Denis…:The Margaret Thatcher Book of Quotations by Margaret Thatcher, edited by Iain Dale. The Title says it all!