The Orwell Prize-winning biography of Clement Attlee, a landmark contribution to the political dialogue by the 'outstanding historian of his generation.'
Clement Attlee was the Labour prime minister who presided over Britain's radical postwar government, delivering the end of the Empire in India, the foundation of the NHS and Britain's place in NATO. Called 'a sheep in sheep's clothing', his reputation has long been that of an unassuming character in the shadow of Churchill. But as John Bew's revelatory biography shows, Attlee was not only a hero of his age, but an emblem of it; and his life tells the story of how Britain changed over the twentieth century.
Here, Bew pierces Attlee's reticence to examine the intellect and beliefs of Britain's greatest - and least appreciated - peacetime prime minister. This edition includes a new preface by the author in response to the 2017 general election.
About the Author
John Bew teaches History and Foreign Policy at the War Studies Department at King's College London. He was the winner of the 2015 Philip Leverhulme Prize for outstanding achievement in Politics and International Studies and previously held the Henry Kissinger Chair in Foreign Policy and International Relations at the Library of Congress in Washington DC. John is a contributing writer at the New Statesman and the author of five books, including the critically-acclaimed Realpolitik: A History and Castlereagh. He was born in Belfast, educated at Cambridge, and lives in Wimbledon, London.
We need another Attlee more than ever. In the absence of which, we have Bew's brilliant book - Prospect
This book is a rare beast - political biography at its finest, yet one that is deeply moving
- Times Higher Education Supplement
He has written with verve and confidence a first-rate life of a man whom he correctly argues has been under-appreciated. What a life, and what a man
- The Times
Fascinating . . . He writes with flair
and considerable intellectual confidence - Financial Times
Exceptional . . . The brilliant young historian
John Bew urges Labour to recapture something of the ethos of the Attlee period - Telegraph
Both a magnificent renewal of the art of political biography
and a monument to the greatest leader the Labour party has ever had - Judge of the Orwell Prize
Will become required reading for the present-day Labour party
- ObserverA masterful portrait
of a man who arguably did more than any other UK politician to shape the postwar world - New Statesman