The Benn Diaries: 1940-1990

The Benn Diaries: 1940-1990

Paperback

By (author) Tony Benn, Volume editor Ruth Winstone

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  • Publisher: ARROW BOOKS LTD
  • Format: Paperback | 704 pages
  • Dimensions: 130mm x 198mm x 46mm | 599g
  • Publication date: 3 January 1998
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0099634112
  • ISBN 13: 9780099634119
  • Illustrations note: 8
  • Sales rank: 124,174

Product description

The Benn Diaries, embracing the years 1940-1990, are already established as a uniquely authoritative, fascinating and readable record of political life. The selected highlights that form this single-volume edition include the most notable events, arguments and personal reflections throughout Benn's long and remarkable career as a leading politician. The narrative starts with Benn as a schoolboy and takes the reader through his youthful wartime experiences as a trainee pilot, his nervous excitement as a new MP during Clement Atlee's premiership and the tribulations of Labour in the 1950s, when the Conservatives were in firm control. It ends with the Tories again in power, but on the eve of Margaret Thatcher's fall, while Tony Benn is on a mission to Baghdad before the impending Gulf War. Over the span of fifty years, the public and private turmoil in British and world politics is recorded as Benn himself moves from wartime service to become the baby of the House, Cabinet Minister, and finally the Commons' most senior Labour Member.

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Author information

Tony Benn is the longest serving MP in the history of the Labour Party. He entered the Commons in 1950 and with Ted Heath held the record post-war timespan as an MP. He has held four cabinet posts and has twice contended the leadership of the Labour Party, of which he has also been Chairman. He has written over fifteen books. Ruth Winstone has edited all volumes of Tony Benn's Diaries and several biographies of political figures. She is associate editor of the Times Guide to the House of Commons; and currently works as a Library Clerk in the Commons.

Review quote

"* 'The Benn Diaries, intensely personal, candid and engaging as they are, rank as an important work of historiography.' - Alan Clark, Daily Telegraph * 'Quite apart from the brio of illuminating a life almost entirely free of boredom (another rarity), the collected Benn has some critical patches of postwar history recorded hot.' - Peter Hennessy, The Times * 'Immensely readable and revealing' - Ben Pimlott, Sunday Times 'An archive of incalculable value' Ruth Dudley Edwards, Independent' An archive of incalculable value' - Ruth Dudley Edwards, Independent"

Editorial reviews

Those who lack the stamina to work through the six large volumes (so far published) of Tony Benn's diaries, at once intensely personal and political, will be grateful to Ruth Winstone for having condensed them within a single pair of covers. (Kirkus UK)