During the course of the twentieth century, nineteen men and one woman--from the Third Marquis of Salisbury to Tony Blair--have occupied the post of Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. In a series of biographical essays, Dick Leonard, a leading political journalist and former MP, recounts the circumstances that took them to the top of "the greasy pole," probes their personal and political strengths and weaknesses, assesses their performance in the top office and asks what lasting influence they have had.
'Dick Leonard's insightful, fair-minded and marvellously readable study of the twenty British prime ministers of the twentieth century fills a glaring gap in the literature on modern British history and politics. It will be a 'must' for sixth-form and University reading lists; and no one interested in the role of the individual in politics should be without it.' - Professor David Marquand, former Principal of Mansfield College, Oxford, and Biographer of Ramsay MacDonald
'A very great achievement.' - David Owen
'Immensely informative, beautifully written...both instructive and entertaining.' - Roy Hattersley
'An excellent book, ' - Michael Heseltine
'A brilliantly balanced, and lasting, view.' - Clive Bradley, former Chief Executive of the Publishers Association
'Leonard has produced a reliable work, which will prove particularly useful to students of British History. We can only hope that he finds the time to finish the next two volumes as quickly as possible.' - Humanities - Sozial- und Kulturgeschichte