As Government Chief Whip during the final year of Margaret Thatcher's premiership, Tim Renton is particularly well qualified to tell the story of parliamentary whipping, and to describe - in an 'exceedingly vivid' manner, according to Anthony Howard in the Sunday Telegraph - the dramatic events which led to Mrs Thatcher's removal from 10 Downing Street.
The first part of the book is a detailed recollection of Renton's own experience in the whips' office, a unique inside account of the last year of the Thatcher Government, while the second part chronicles the history of parliamentary whipping since the seventeenth century.
Never before has a senior whip been so forthcoming about what the role actually entails, and the result is a political study of rare insight and revelation.
'One of the best political memoirs of recent times'
The Sunday Telegraph
'Clear, funny and free of self-congratulation... the book makes clear that there are, in fact, no rules that the Chief Whip cannot break'
The Daily Telegraph
'Renton's account adds some vivid new touches to the picture of a once-dominant Prime Minister nearing the end of her lease on power'
Times Literary Supplement
'Lively and fascinating'
Sir Patrick Cormack
Lord Renton entered the House of Commons as MP for Mid Sussex in 1974, served as Minister in the Foreign Office and the Home Office, and was Government Chief Whip from 1989 to 1990. He subsequently became Minister for the Arts and remained in the Commons until 1997, when he was moved to the House of Lords as Lord Renton of Mount Harry, the Sussex Down where he lives. He is the author of two novels, The Dangerous Edge (1994) and Hostage to Fortune (1997).