Roy Jenkins follows up Churchill with a book of a very different shape; short and semi-autobiographical, but also full of the wit and erudition which make that book such a success. Each of the twelve cities are described with a mixture of architectural interest, topographical insight, and personal anecdote. Jenkins has three British cities: Cardiff, which was the metropolis of his Monmouthshire childhood, Birmingham which he represented in Parliament for 27 years, and Glasgow, which aroused in him an enthusiasm far transcending politics. Further afield there is Paris, Brussels, where he lived for four years as President of the European Commission; Bonn, and Berlin, surveyed from its pre-war splendour, through to its architectural resurgence of the 1990s, Naples and Barcelona. From Lord Jenkins's over a hundred visits to North America there emerge highly personal recollections of New York and a more objective view of the of Chicago. Dublin, so near to home and yet so distant, makes up the dozen. Twelve Cities is a fascinating and sparkling collection from one of our very finest writers
From the admiralty to the miner's strike, from the Battle of Britain to the Nobel Prize, Churchill oversaw some of the most important events the World has ever seen. Roy Jenkins faithfully presents these events, while also managing to convey the contradictions and quirks in Churchill's character. In depth analysis and brilliant historical research make this a magnificent one-volume biography of an extraordinary life. In some ways a companion piece to his excellent biography of Gladstone, Churchill is packed with insights that only a fellow politician could convey. "There is no doubt that he has surpassed himself. This is the biography of the year." Robert McCrum, Observer "This is a first class, well-sustained work of history and a masterpiece of biography " Andrew Roberts, Sunday Telegraph "Lord Jenkins of Hillhead is an outstanding biographer...it has the narrative power, sweep and sparkle of the author in his prime. " John Grigg, Times
Originally published in 1995,this is a biography of William Ewart Gladstone (1809-98), which charts the political career and personal life of the only person who saw four terms as the British Prime Minister and who left behind a long and successful line of legislation. Roy Jenkins examines the manifold activities of Gladstone's life and uses it to relate the political rhythms, travel patterns and religious assumptions of Victorian England to the modern day.
First published in 1989, this diary provides the background to two vital issues: our relations with the European Community and the state of politics in Britain. Few people are better qualified to know how we arrived where we are than Roy Jenkins. During the period of this diary he was President of the European Commission.
The diary provides a picture of the day-to-day life of the head of an international organization, of the conflicting pressures and grinding routine, of the importance of personal relationships with world leaders such as Helmut Schmidt, Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, James Callaghan, Margaret Thatcher, Willy Brandt, Jean Monnet and Jimmy Carter.
In addition to the political chronicle we have frank and sometimes unguarded revelations about the author, his tastes and preoccupations, from which emerges a man more imbued with public passion, more eccentric and with a more varied private life than many readers may expect. His subtle perception of people is revealed in brilliant portraits of, for example, Schmidt, pessimistic, streaked with melancholy, indiscreet and yet notably constructive, and Giscard d'Estaing, highly intelligent but with pretentions that sometimes make him faintly ludicrous.
For those concerned with the way the world is developing and the impact of a civilized and essentially private personality on public events, European Diary is compulsory reading.
First published in 1984, this is the first biography of Stanley Baldwin for more than ten years, although there had been four in the preceding decade. This is strange, for Baldwin has recently begun to swim back into fashion. In part this is a function of growing nostalgia for his period of power, the 1920s and 1930s. Still more, however, it is " because Mrs Thatcher's brand of Conservative leadership has made him an object of contrasting interest in a way that Harold Macmillan's or Edward Heath's never did. When a new exponent of an alternative style temporarily achieves notice, it is now frequently suggested that he might be a new Baldwin. This reappraisal is therefore appropriately timed. It is written by a skilled political biographer, from a non-Conservative, although not personally unsympathetic, standpoint.
Baldwin was born in 1867, the son of a rich Worcestershire ironmaster, and educated at Harrow and Trinity College, Cambridge. He then worked in the family business for twenty years. Although the most self-conscious countryman amongst British Prime Ministers of the past hundred years or more, he was not a country squire and never owned more than a few acres of land. He did not enter the House of Commons until he was forty, and was not even a junior minister until the threshold of fifty. Less than six years later, in 1923, he became Prime Minister and dominated British politics for the next fifteen years - the only man of this century to hold the highest office three times.
In his time, Harry S. Truman was one of the most under-rated presidents of the twentieth century. Succeeding the charismatic Roosevelt, he was often seen as an uninspiring leader, a poor diplomat and a fumbling politician. He was the first man to authorise the use of nuclear weapons, and was in office at the time when the multiplicity of hopes which arose at the end of the Second World War were inevitably disappointed.
Nothing could be further from Roy Jenkins' view of him. This is the first biography of Truman to be written by an author with anything approaching the subject's own range of political experience, and Roy Jenkins brings to this book a quality of appreciation of Truman's political skills which has not been seen before. It is also the first biography to be written by a British author, giving it a new objectivity on the international affairs which occupied so much of Truman's presidency and by which he must be judged.
In Portraits and Miniatures, Roy Jenkins brings his penetrating intelligence and elegant prose to subjects ranging from literature and political history to wine and croquet. Long experience in both Houses of Parliament and as President of the European Commission has given him unparalleled insight into political figures such as R. A. Butler, Aneurin Bevan, Konrad Adenauer, and de Gaulle. A varied selection of essays, Portraits and Miniatures is fascinating, witty, and endlessly entertaining.
From the New York Times bestselling author of Churchill, a towering historical biography, available for the first time in paperback.
William Gladstone was, with Tennyson, Newman, Dickens, Carlyle, and Darwin, one of the stars of nineteenth-century British life. He spent sixty-three of his eighty-nine years in the House of Commons and was prime minister four times, a unique accomplishment. From his critical role in the formation of the Liberal Party to his preoccupation with the cause of Irish Home Rule, he was a commanding politician and statesman nonpareil. But Gladstone the man was much more: a classical scholar, a wide-ranging author, a vociferous participant in all the great theological debates of the day, a voracious reader, and an avid walker who chopped down trees for recreation. He was also a man obsessed with the idea of his own sinfulness, prone to self-flagellation and persistent in the practice of accosting prostitutes on the street and attempting to persuade them of the errors of their ways. This full and deep portrait of a complicated man offers a sweeping picture of a tumultuous century in British history, and is also a brilliant example of the biographer';s art.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
First published in 1964, Asquith was one of the most crucial and controversial of modern Prime Ministers. He was opposed with a bitterness and a violence that English politicians have not subsequently known, yet he enjoyed eight and a half years of unbroken power, and for at least the first six years of these he presided with an easy authority over the most talented government of this century. The issues which he confronted were momentous - Peers v. People, Ireland, and the Great War. Bringing to bear exceptional knowledge, judgement, insight and tolerance, he survived them all. His fall seemed therefore all the more shocking.