Lloyd George once spoke of 'a very powerful combination - in its way the most powerful in the country'. Its proceedings were invariably conducted at Cliveden, the country estate of the fabulously wealthy Nancy and Waldorf Astor. Collectively dubbed 'God's Truth Ltd', the group included leading politicians, academics, writers and newspaper editors. Its pedigree impeccable, its social standing beyond reproach, its persuasive powers penheated the clubs and institutions of London, the senior common rooms of Oxbridge colleges, the quality press and the great country houses of England. Suddenly, in the late 1930s, the 'Cliveden Set' was catapulted into uncalled-for notoriety. It had been identified as a cabal that sought to manipulate, even detennine, British foreign policy in order to uphold its narrow class interests. It would use any means, however devious - even negotiate a humiliating, dishonourable settlement with Nazi Gennany - to maintain its privileges, those of a decaying ruling class. But was the 'Cliveden Set' a traitorous cabal, challenging 'the constitutional structures of British democracy', or simply an unstructured think-tank ofhannless do-gooders? Nonnan Rose discerningly probes this fascinating tale, brilliantly disentangling fact from fiction, and setting this privileged clique in the wider perspective of its times.
"A lively, entertaining and informative account of one of the stranger episodes to have created a national legend" -- Anthony Howard * Sunday Times * "A model piece of historical writing...A lively, generous-minded and convincing demolition of a contemporary legend" -- Anne Chisholm * Sunday Telegraph * "Norman Rose...is a master of Britain's internal relations...his knowledge is extensive and his touch assured...In fine, economical, sometimes epigrammatic prose he has written a thoroughly entertaining, absorbing account" -- Ian Gilmour * London Review of Books * "Well-researched, well-written and fascinating...a fine work" -- Andrew Roberts * Daily Telegraph * "Norman Rose sorts out the Cliveden Set for us once and for all...calm, lucid and authoritative" * Spectator *