No Tradesmen and No Women
The Origins of the British Civil Service
Drawing on extensive research and 40 years’ experience as a civil servant, Michael Coolican describes how the machinery of government has developed since the time of Thomas Cromwell. His forthright account assesses the successes and failures of Whitehall departments in implementing government policy, and explains how Victorian reforms created an elitist culture of nepotism. He argues that the resulting poor leadership, distrust of modern management practices and preference for generalists over experts affect the service to this day.
The Lockerbie Bombing
The Search for Justice
In 2009 Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, the only person convicted for the 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103, was released from prison. Written by the Justice Secretary who freed him, this account of the Lockerbie investigation describes the collection of evidence and the diplomatic intrigue that led to a Scottish court being convened in the Netherlands. MacAskill then explains his controversial decision and offers a reconstruction of the course of events leading up to the attack.
The Stories Behind the Headlines at the World's Most Famous Newspaper
As the chief reporter and news editor for the News of the World, Neville Thurlbeck was one of Fleet Street's most prominent journalists for over 20 years. In this memoir he recalls the most sensational scoops and scandals, including the Jeffrey Archer perjury case, the David Beckham and Rebecca Loos affair, and a variety of stories involving politicians, celebrities, serial killers and even MI5.
A Life From Print to Panorama
Tom Mangold is known to millions as the long-serving broadcaster of the BBC’s flagship current affairs programme Panorama. In this frank and often funny memoir, he describes his National Service in Germany, where he moonlighted as a smuggler, and his years in the cut-throat world of Fleet Street tabloid journalism. He reflects on scoops and scandals, chaotic interviews with presidents, and reporting from the world’s deadliest conflict zones.
At the Heart of Power From Heath to Blair
Described as ‘one of the two or three men who actually run the country’, Robin Butler served variously as private secretary to, and cabinet secretary under, five prime ministers. This biography presents Butler as both traditionalist and innovator in a civil service undergoing profound change.
Reporting on Hitler
Rothay Reynolds and the British Press in Nazi Germany
The Daily Mail’s Berlin correspondent Rothay Reynolds was one of the first journalists to interview Hitler and, it was said, the only man capable of holding the Führer’s gaze. As his paper became increasingly vocal in its support for the Nazis, he struggled to report accurately on life in Germany. This account tells the story of Reynolds and other foreign correspondents such as Norman Ebutt and Hugh Carleton Greene who attempted to reveal the truth about the regime, often at great personal risk.
The Best Prime Minister We Never Had?
The Conservative politician Richard Austen ‘Rab’ Butler (1902–82) held three of the great offices of state and came close, on three occasions, to becoming Prime Minister. This biography examines his upbringing, education and political career and draws on his own papers and the testimony of his contemporaries to explore why, despite his formidable intellect and distinguished record as Chancellor of the Exchequer, the premiership ultimately eluded him.
Power and Glory
France's Secret Wars with Britain and America, 1945–2016
Since the Second World War, beneath a veneer of unity, France has pursued a secret rivalry with Britain and the US. Drawing on original archive sources, and interviews with diplomats and foreign policy experts, this revealing study demonstrates how, covertly, France has supported their enemies on the international stage, selling arms to Biafran rebels in Nigeria and to Argentina during the Falklands War, and stoking the tensions that led to the Rwandan genocide.
The King Who Had to Go
Edward VIII, Mrs Simpson and the Hidden Politics of the Abdication Crisis
Edward VIII’s relationship with the American divorcée Wallis Simpson created a constitutional crisis that ultimately cost him his crown. This behind-the-scenes account reveals how the crisis was kept secret from the public for six months while the police and MI5 tapped the king’s phones and investigated Mrs Simpson’s alleged Nazi sympathies, and how Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin outwitted Winston Churchill and seized the opportunity to conclude his own career with a theatrical flourish.
An Unsuccessful Prime Minister? Reappraising John Major
This collection of essays takes a balanced look at the successes and failures of John Major’s government, and re-evaluates its legacy. Contributions from politicians including Charles Clarke, Paddy Ashdown and John Redwood and commentators such as Peter Oborne and Christian Wolmar reflect on the government’s fragile majority, battles over Europe and the Maastricht treaty, the Exchange Rate Mechanism debacle, the first Gulf War, and the Northern Ireland peace process.
The Banker's Sister
Jane Austen’s favourite brother Henry established himself as a banker in 1806, and built up an extensive business before it collapsed in the financial crash of 1816. He also acted as his sister’ agent, dealing with publishers and printers on her behalf. This dual biography explores for the first time the close connection between his financial and her literary career, to reveal how her novels draw on his experiences to highlight the economic speculations and crises of the Regency era.
Harold Wilson: The Unprincipled Prime Minister?
Reappraising Harold Wilson
Harold Wilson was one of the longest-serving prime ministers of the 20th century, winning four elections – one more than both Tony Blair and Margaret Thatcher – yet his reputation within the Labour Party remains ambiguous. This collection of essays examines his record on economic policy, industrial relations, social liberalization, Europe and Northern Ireland. With contributions from Wilson’s contemporaries and political experts from the left, right and centre, it offers a balanced assessment of his successes and failures.
The Spy Who Knew Everyone
Guy Burgess (1910–1963) was an extraordinarily well-connected Russian spy within the British establishment, who managed to work for the BBC, MI5, MI6, the War Office, the Ministry of Information and Soviet Intelligence over a period of 15 years before going into self-imposed exile in Moscow in 1951. Drawing on newly released official files, the authors describe how Burgess used his contacts in the British political class and how, for a long time, he got away with it.
Born in the Welsh valleys, Joan Ruddock went on to lead the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament before becoming an MP and the first Minister for Women in the Blair government. In this memoir, she recalls the hard lives of her parents, which fuelled her passion for social justice, her career as campaigner and politician, the euphoria she felt after the 1997 election, and the frustration and disillusionment that followed.