These political biographies are intended to analyse in depth the real men lurking behind the personality cults of great contemporary statesmen. Their purpose is to explain how such political leaders as Mao Tse-Tung and Macmillan, de Gaulle and Stalin formed their political outlooks, to examine how they gained power and how they held and exercised it, and to suggest what each has come to epitomize in the eyes of his own nation and of the world at large.
The political career of Harold Macmillan culminated in one of the greatest enigmas in the politics of the last hundred years: an intellectual, sensitive, aristocratic Prime minister whose premiership is now remembered chiefly for its profligacy, scandal and vulgarity.
In the thirties Macmillan was one of the first to understand the significance of Keyne's economic theories, to apprehend the growing menace of Hitler and to accept Britain's changing place in the coming Imperial revolution. In the sixties as Prime Minister he led a regime notable for Premium Bonds, gaming saloons, "Never had it good", government scandals and a mismanagement of resources which brought England to the edge of crisis.
As a child, Anthony Sampson was haunted by a family skeleton. He knew his grandfather John Sampson had been an authority on the gypsies. They had called him the Rai - the Master - and had flocked to his magnificent funeral on a Welsh mountain. But of his grandfather's private life he was told nothing, nor of the mysterious aunt who joined the family after his death. In fact only sixty years later did the truth begin to emerge. This book follows a trail of clues to uncover an extraordinary hidden life and a gypsy world now disappeared.
John Sampson was a brilliant philologist who, happening to encounter a gypsy tribe in North Wales, compiled over thirty years a dictionary of the Romani language that remains the standard work. But he also became a Bohemian himself, a bigamist and the father of a child who was brought up secretly and who would in turn become a remarkable scholar. Using intimate letters, bawdy rhymes and wonderful illustrations- including many by Augustus John who was part of the circle - Anthony Sampson brings to life a group of scholars, writers and painters who escaped Victorian convention to pursue an alternative life in the Welsh hills.
The Scholar Gypsy is both a detective story and a moving voyage of discovery. Ranging through finely observed contrasts and connections it illuminates many lesser-known aspects of Victorian and Edwardian Britain and vividly conveys the spell that gypsies cast on the imagination of artists and writers, and the fear that they arouse among the conventional.
First published in 1984, explosively topical and penetrating in insight, this bestseller from the world's expert on international, high-flying big business is essential and fascinating reading for anyone who has ever looked down on the world from a plane and wondered how airlines have changed it.
First published in 1981, The Money Lenders reveals the power, the workings and the personalities of the money men who have made the world go round:
The Superbankers - including Chase Manhattan's David Rockefeller, Citibank's Walter Wriston, Lloyds' Sir Jeremy Morse and Robert McNamara.
The debt-ridden regimes of Poland and Iran, Brazil and Zaire, Singapore and Pakistan.
The wizards of Grand Cayman - the sunny tax haven who had more registered corporations than inhabitants.
The Medicis, the Rothschilds, the Barings, the Barclays whose banks transformed the economic map of the world.