Callaghan

Callaghan : A Life

3.5 (8 ratings by Goodreads)
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'Callaghan is a symbol of our present age as well as our past, New Labour as well as Old. He links the age of Clem Attlee and that of Tony Blair.' Kenneth Morgan 'This is a classic political life, critical, well-balanced, compellingly written' Brian Brivati, The Times 'It is hard to see how the book could have been better done' Alan Watkins, The Spectator 'A superb portrait and a fascinating work of historical scholarship that will become a classic text' Ben Pimlott, The Guardian 'Callaghan was regarded as the epitome of the Labour Party's right-wing establishment. Yet Kenneth Morgan's biography reveals him to be far more interesting and far more complex than that.' Gerald Kaufman, Daily Telegraph This fascinating biography, written by leading historian Kenneth Morgan, tells the story of a man who had a unique political career. Starting in humble circumstances, James Callaghan went on to hold all the major offices of state: Chancellor of the Exchequer, Home Secretary, Foreign Secretary, and, for three tumultuous years, from 1976 to 1979, Prime Minister. This meticulously researched study takes the reader from the age of Attlee to the days of New Labour under Blair.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 816 pages
  • 138 x 215mm | 997g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford Paperbacks
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 16 pp plates
  • 0192853562
  • 9780192853561

Table of contents

PART ONE (1912-1964); 1. A naval childhood; 2. Union man; 3. A People's war; 4. Backbench critic; 5. Junior minister; 6. Opposition years; 7. House and Home; 8. End of Empire; 9. Hugh to Harold; 10. Into Power; PART TWO (1964-1976); 11. Baptism of fire; 12. Blown off course; 13. Devaluation and departure; 14. Law, disorder, and the permissive society; 15. Troubles, industrial and Irish; 16. Out of office; 17. In place of power; 18. Europe and the wider world; 19. Negotiating to succeed; 20. Kissinger and the Commonwealth; PART THREE (1976- ); 21. Into number 10; 22. Prime ministerial style; 23. Britain in hock; 24. A successful government; 25. International honest broker; 26. Election deferred; 27. Discontent and decline; 28. Dying fall; 29. Last phase of leadership; 30. Elder statesman; 31. Conclusion; Select Bibliography; Indexshow more

Review Text

Lucky is the politician who finds the right biographer. During his three years at Downing Street, Jim Callaghan was hardly fortune's favourite. Had he won the only general election he fought as party leader, history would probably have regarded him as one of Britain's great prime ministers. But, since he chose the wrong date, he lost and for many years was only remembered as the man who presided over the IMF crisis in the 'Winter of Discontent'. Morgan's prosaically titled Callaghan: A Life has continued the process which began when Britain started to turn against Margaret Thatcher. It is not a hagiography - Callaghan's mistakes as Home Secretary, Foreign Secretary and Chancellor of the Exchequer are faithfully recorded. So are the quirks of personality which always made him a difficult man to understand. But it is more than the story of one of the half-century's most substantial politicians. It is the saga of Old Labour at its best. Review by ROY HATTERSLEY (Kirkus UK)show more

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