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Carrington : An Honourable Man

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"One of the country's greatest post-war statesmen" Sir John Major

Lord Carrington was Margaret Thatcher's Foreign Secretary when the Argentinians invaded the Falklands in 1982. Absent in Israel on the eve of the invasion, he promptly resigned since it was, he said, a point of honour. He is seen by many today as the last of his breed in politics, an honourable man committed to public service.

The descendant of a famous banking family, Carrington served as a minister in every Conservative government from Churchill to Thatcher. In this full biography, authorised but not read by the subject, author of This Sceptred Isle Christopher Lee offers a fascinating portrait of a Tory icon whose career is a window into post-war British politics and life as a politician and diplomat.

He could be viewed as a typical Tory grandee, yet he disliked the Party, claiming late in his life that he was no longer a member, and could be fiercely independent. And there were recurring oddities in his career. He was forced to offer his resignation to Churchill for bad judgement over the Crichel Down Affair. As Navy Minister he was caught in the glare of a spy ring, and, though Defence Secretary, kept out of the loop of the military operation which culminated in Bloody Sunday.

Margaret Thatcher said there was something innately reassuring walking into a room where Carrington stood. Was this a barbed compliment? Did he in fact lack the steel required of a modern politician? He certainly represents a bygone era, as this vivid and expert biography shows.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 576 pages
  • 162 x 240 x 49mm | 872g
  • VIKING
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0670916463
  • 9780670916467
  • 574,209

Review quote

Portrays a rounded picture of one of the most admirable of 20th-century statesman and of the political background against which he trod his honourable path * Country Life * Lee's biography . . . is hugely enlivened by the fact that its subject, who died this year at the age of 99, was a superb gossip and passed his board of vignettes to Lee -- Dominic Lawson * The Sunday Times * [An] account of such a fascinating life -- Rachel Sylvester * The Times * Clear and fair -- Robert Salisbury * The Spectator *
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About Christopher Lee

Christopher Lee began this book while Quatercentenary Research Fellow at Emmanuel College Cambridge where he also edited Winston Churchill's A History of the English-speaking Peoples and where he wrote his award-winning BBC Radio 4 history of Britain, This Sceptred Isle. He lives in Kent and aboard a restored sloop which he sails from the Beaulieu River.
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