'Outstanding' Daily Mail
'Admirable' The Independent
The critically acclaimed biography of a man who was described by Margaret Thatcher as representing 'all that was best of his generation'.
Alec Douglas-Home gave service to the nation of Gladstonian length. He was a member of every Conservative administration from 1935 until February 1974; and as an elder statesman in the long years of retirement his advice was sought by Foreign Secretaries and Prime Ministers alike. At the time of his death in 1995, sixty-six years after he had first contested a seat in Parliament, he was the oldest survivor of the pre-war House of Commons.
Few political leaders had such a varied insight into the power-brokers of the twentieth century. From his meetings with Hitler and Mussolini at Munich to his post-war dealings with Kennedy, Nixon, Khrushchev and Chou En-lai, there were few world leaders whose path he did not at some stage cross. Among the many events examined in the biography, based on exclusive access to private papers, are Munich, Suez, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Rhodesian rebellion and the Tory leadership struggles over twenty years.
This study reveals the private side of Alec Douglas-Home's personality, as well as the support given to him by his wife Elizabeth over half a century of marriage. It is a comprehensive portrait of a decisive and turbulent era in recent world history.