WINNER OF THE POLITICAL BOOK AWARDS POLITICAL HISTORY BOOK OF THE YEAR 2014. Published to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of the Profumo scandal, An English Affair is a sharp-focused snapshot of a nation on the brink of social revolution. Britain in 1963 - Harold Macmillan was the Prime Minister of a Conservative government, dedicated to tradition, hierarchy and, above all, old-fashioned morality. But a breakdown of social boundaries saw nightclub hostesses mixing with aristocrats, and middle-class professionals dabbling in criminality. Meanwhile, Cold War paranoia gripped the public imagination. The Profumo Affair was a perfect storm, and when it broke it rocked the Establishment. In `An English Affair', the author of the critically-acclaimed `Titainic Lives' Richard Davenport-Hines brings Swinging London to life. The cast of players includes the familiar - louche doctor Stephen Ward, good-time girls Christine Keeler and Mandy Rice-Davies, and Secretary for War John Profumo himself. But we also encounter the tabloid hacks, property developers and hangers-on whose roles have, until now, never been fully revealed. Sex, drugs, class, race, chequebook journalism and the criminal underworld - the Profumo Affair had it all. This is the story of how Sixties England cast off respectability and fell in love with scandal.
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Richard Davenport-Hines won the Wolfson Prize for History for his first book, `Dudley Docker'. He is an adviser to the `Oxford Dictionary of National Biography' and has also written biographies of W.H. Auden and Marcel Proust. His most recent book, `Titanic Lives' was published in 2012. A Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and the Royal Society of Literature, he reviews for the Spectator, Literary Review, Sunday Telegraph and Times Literary Supplement.Review:
Independent on Sunday Books of the Year `Wonderful and exacting' Mail on Sunday Books of the Year `A breakneck thriller and a brilliant dissection of the times' Independent on Sunday Books of the Year `This is more than simply an overview of the affair...Davenport-Hines skewers an entire society' `A wonderful evocation of the period; a Rolls-Royce ride, with that hugely enjoyable sense of a writer being op top of his material and perfectly attuned to his subject' David Kynaston, author of `Austerity Britain' `An outstandingly evocative portrait of a hinge moment in our recent history, as well as a treasure trove of anecdotes' Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times `Fascinating ... a meticulous and witty portrait of a society built on the shaky foundations of snobbery, suspicion, hypocrisy and sexual anxiety' Mail on Sunday `Mesmerising. Brilliantly researched, irresistibly readable, fiercely polemical, `An English Affair' ought to sit on the desk of everyone who voices a view on the entanglement of politics, media and celebrity ... No book about the British past this year will cast a fiercer light on the British present' Independent `His research is impeccable and the story told with lip-smacking relish' Daily Express `A superb book' Evening Standard `[The Profumo Affair] has found a marvellous chronicler in Davenport-Hines, an incisive writer with a terrific eye for detail' Sunday Telegraph `[A] superb account of the scandal' Mail on Sunday, `[This] livid, lurid but enthralling history of "sex, class and power in the age of Profumo" boasts a rare passion and bravado' Independent `It is written in a wonderfully sharp and witty style, and packed with illuminating details' Craig Brown, Books of the year, Daily Mail
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Book Description HarperPress, 2013. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0007435843