Harold Macmillan

Harold Macmillan

by Charles Williams

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

Harold Macmillan was a figure of paradox. Outwardly, it was Edwardian elegance and civilised urbanity. Inwardly, it was emotional damage from his wife's open adultery and his progressive perplexity at the onward march of time.

The First World War showed the courageous soldier. From then on, it was politics, rather than the family business of publishing, which was to be his future. Nevertheless, although he supported Churchill in the 1930s he was deemed boring - and certainly not ministerial material.

All changed with the Second World War. Appointed Minister in Residence in North Africa, Macmillan's career flowered. After the War he became indispensable to Conservative Cabinets and as Churchill's Minister of Housing in the early 1950s he achieved the target, against all expectations, of 300,000 houses annually. Thereafter, he was Eden's Foreign Secretary and Chancellor but by then Macmillan had become openly ambitious. Over the Suez affair in 1956 he played a difficult - and somewhat devious - hand. Eden's resignation left him as the clear choice of his Cabinet colleagues to become Prime Minister.

From 1957 to 1962, Macmillan was a good - some would say a great - Prime Minister. By 1962, however, his government was looking tired. The Profumo affair in 1963 was particularly damaging, and in the autumn of 1963 his health forced him to retire.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780297857778
Publisher: Orion Publishing Group, Limited
Publication date: 08/16/2012
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 7 MB

About the Author

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.

Table of Contents

Preface 1

Part 1 Prologue

1 'The Old Rogue' 5

2 'Balliol Made Me, Balliol Fed Me' 20

3 'I Was Very Frightened' 32

4 'I do Hope It Is Alright' 47

5 'I Had Never Been To Tees-side' 59

6 'Why Did You Ever Wake Me?' 73

Part 2 The First Act

7 'Very Much the Minister Nowadays' 93

8 Greeks, Romans and Frenchmen 109

9 'A Marriage Has Been Arranged' 129

10 'People Get Very Peculiar After a Time' 153

Part 3 Waiting in the Wings

11 A Stranger at Home 179

12 'This New Opportunity' 191

13 'Shall I Ever Be Foreign Secretary?' 206

14 Ambition 224

15 'We Must Make Use of Israel' 241

16 'The Last Gasp of a Declining Power' 258

Part 4 Centre Stage

17 The Tory Resurrection 279

18 'You Almost Feel Yourself a Statesman' 298

19 The Prime Minister 318

20 'All the Political Domestic Mileage He Can Get' 323

21 'The Tories Must Wake Up' 336

22 Le Double Jeu 351

23 Enter JFK 372

24 'I am Ageing' 387

25 'They Don't Really Smile' 401

26 'We've Got To Do Something for Harold' 414

27 'Butler Would Be Fatal' 433

Part 5 The Last Act

28 The End of the Day 457

Epilogue 469

Notes 479

Note on Sources 511

Select Bibliography 512

Acknowledgements 518

Index 520

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