A unique comparative biography of five key twentieth century politicians, covering their early lives as well as their time in office together.
More than sixty years after the 1945 landslide Labour victory, Clement Attlee remains the benchmark – the top deity in the modern Labour Party's pantheon. The distinguished author Giles Radice not only tells his important story, but also explains the complex, crucial and unique relationship between Attlee, the 'Tortoise', and the 'Hares', his leading Cabinet ministers – Ernest Bevin, Stafford Cripps, Hugh Dalton and Herbert Morrison.
Despite being one of the least charismatic Prime Ministers of recent times, Attlee's premiership was one of great achievement, thanks to the Hares who served under the Tortoise. His government introduced the welfare state and the National Health Service, nationalised the major utilities, gave independence to India, Pakistan and Ceylon and helped to found NATO. Attlee and the Labour government needed the ideas, inspiration and drive that his more dynamic ministers provided; he needed his colleagues as much as they needed him.
Giles Radice draws on the National Archive documents, diaries, interviews and secondary sources to provide a book of wide appeal, sharp, colourful and well written. It is for anyone who wishes to know more about this crucial period of modern history, whose influence lives on.