Roy Jenkins: A Well-Rounded Life

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9780099532620: Roy Jenkins: A Well-Rounded Life

The authorised biography of the best Prime Minister Britain never had.
     Roy Jenkins was probably the best Prime Minister Britain never had. But though he never reached 10 Downing Street, he left a more enduring mark on British society than most of those who did. His career spans the full half-century from Attlee to Tony Blair during which he helped transform almost every area of national life and politics.
     First, as a radical Home Secretary in the 1960s he drove through the decriminalisation of homosexuality and the legalisation of abortion, abolished theatre censorship and introduced the first legislation to outlaw discrimination on grounds of both race and gender. Attacked by conservatives as the godfather of the permissive society, he was a pioneering champion of gay rights, racial equality and feminism. He also reformed the police and criminal trials and introduced the independent police complaints commission.
     Second, he was an early and consistent advocate of European unity who played a decisive role in achieving British membership first of the Common Market and then of the European Union. From 1977 to 1980 he served as the first (and so far only) British president of the European Commission. Public opinion today is swinging against Europe; but for the past forty years participation in Europe was seen by all parties as an unquestioned benefit, and no-one had more influence than Jenkins in that historic redirection of British policy.
     Third, in 1981, when both the Conservative and Labour parties had moved sharply to the right and left respectively he founded the centrist Social Democratic Party (SDP) which failed in its immediate ambition of breaking the mould of British politics -- largely because the Falklands war transformed Mrs Thatcher's popularity -- but merged with the Liberals to form the Liberal Democrats and paved the way for Tony Blair's creation of New Labour.
     On top of all this, Jenkins was a compulsive writer whose twenty-three books included best-selling biographies of Asquith, Gladstone and Churchill. As Chancellor of Oxford University he was the embodiment of the liberal establishment with a genius for friendship who knew and cultivated everyone who mattered in the overlapping worlds of politics, literature, diplomacy and academia; he also had many close women friends and enjoyed an unconventional private life. His biography is the story of an exceptionally well-filled and well-rounded life.

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About the Author:

JOHN CAMPBELL is the author of many biographies including one of Edward Heath, for which he won the 1994 NCR award, The Iron Lady: Margaret Thatcher, from Grocer's Daughter to Iron Lady and, most recently, Pistols at Dawn: Two Hundred Years of Political Rivalry from Pitt and Fox to Blair and Brown. He is married and lives in Kent.

Review:

"Magnificent... A compelling account of a remarkable life" * Observer * "Campbell is simply a master of the art... This book is effortlessly superior." -- Dominic Sandbrook * Sunday Times * "Marvellous... The highest praise I can give to John Campbell's biography is that Roy Jenkins would have been proud to have been its author." -- Alan Johnson * Guardian * "A riveting and vital contribution to an understanding of postwar British politics." -- Matthew Engel * Financial Times * "A wonderful, readable book. Jenkins himself would have been proud to have produced a masterpiece of this calibre." -- Leo McKinstry * Daily Express * "Captivating... I read every single one of the 749 pages of this long book with relish and fascination. It is a splendid tribute to one of the greatest British politicians and writers (not necessarily in that order) of the last century." -- Peter Oborne * Daily Telegraph * "Magnificent... As plump and benign as its subject." -- A N Wilson * Evening Standard * "A splendidly thorough biography." -- Craig Brown * Mail on Sunday * "Campbell is an excellent biographer. He has a strong narrative grasp and knows how to use evidence. His books are not showy, but if you test their propositions, you almost always find them fair." -- Charles Moore * Daily Telegraph * "Wonderful... It is the well-rounded life of its subject that makes this book such an entertaining, as well as an instructive, read." -- Rachel Sylvester * The Times * "One of the best political biographies you could hope to read." * Sunday Times *

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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. This book was shortlisted for the 2014 Samuel Johnson Prize. It was shortlisted for the 2014 Costa Biography Award. It is long listed for the 2015 Orwell Prize. It is the winner of the 2014 Political Book Awards Political Biography of the Year. Roy Jenkins was probably the best Prime Minister Britain never had. But though he never reached 10 Downing Street, he left a more enduring mark on British society than most of those who did. As a radical Home Secretary in the 1960s he drove through the decriminalization of homosexuality and the legalization of abortion. An early and consistent advocate of European unity, he played a decisive role in achieving British membership first of the Common Market and then of the European Union. Then in 1981, when both the Conservative and Labour parties had moved sharply to the right and left respectively he founded the centrist Social Democratic Party (SDP) which ultimately paved the way for Tony Blair s creation of New Labour. On top of all this, Jenkins was a compulsive writer whose twenty-three books included best-selling biographies of Asquith, Gladstone and Churchill. He was the embodiment of the liberal establishment with a genius for friendship who knew and cultivated everyone who mattered in the overlapping worlds of politics, literature, diplomacy and academia. His biography is the story of an exceptionally well-filled and well-rounded life. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099532620

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Book Description Vintage Books, 2015. Book Condition: New. Roy Jenkins was probably the best Prime Minister Britain never had. But though he never reached 10 Downing Street, he left a more enduring mark on British society than most of those who did. His biography is the story of an well-filled and well-rounded life. Num Pages: 832 pages. BIC Classification: 1DBK; 3JJP; BGH; HBJD1; HBLW3; JP. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 156 x 235 x 47. Weight in Grams: 1034. . 2015. Paperback. . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780099532620

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Book Description Vintage Books. Book Condition: New. Roy Jenkins was probably the best Prime Minister Britain never had. But though he never reached 10 Downing Street, he left a more enduring mark on British society than most of those who did. His biography is the story of an well-filled and well-rounded life. Num Pages: 832 pages. BIC Classification: 1DBK; 3JJP; BGH; HBJD1; HBLW3; JP. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 156 x 235 x 47. Weight in Grams: 1034. . 2015. Paperback. . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780099532620

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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Shortlisted for the 2014 Samuel Johnson Prize Shortlisted for the 2014 Costa Biography Award Longlisted for the 2015 Orwell Prize Winner of the 2014 Political Book Awards Political Biography of the Year Roy Jenkins was probably the best Prime Minister Britain never had. But though he never reached 10 Downing Street, he left a more enduring mark on British society than most of those who did. As a radical Home Secretary in the 1960s he drove through the decriminalisation of homosexuality and the legalisation of abortion. An early and consistent advocate of European unity, he played a decisive role in achieving British membership first of the Common Market and then of the European Union. Then in 1981, when both the Conservative and Labour parties had moved sharply to the right and left respectively he founded the centrist Social Democratic Party (SDP) which ultimately paved the way for Tony Blair s creation of New Labour. On top of all this, Jenkins was a compulsive writer whose twenty-three books included best-selling biographies of Asquith, Gladstone and Churchill. He was the embodiment of the liberal establishment with a genius for friendship who knew and cultivated everyone who mattered in the overlapping worlds of politics, literature, diplomacy and academia. His biography is the story of an exceptionally well-filled and well-rounded life. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099532620

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