Attlee: A Life in Politics (Paperback)

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Clement Attlee - the man who created the welfare state and decolonised vast swathes of the British Empire, including India - has been acclaimed by many as Britains' greatest twentieth-century Prime Minister. Yet somehow Attlee the man remains elusive and little known. How did such a moderate, modest man bring about so many enduring changes? What are the secrets of his leadership style? And how do his personal attributes account for both his spectacular successes and his apparent failures? When Attlee became Prime Minister in July 1945 he was the leader of a Labour party that had won a landslide victory. With almost 50 per cent of the popular vote, Attlee seemed to have achieved the platform for Labour to dominate post-war British politics. Yet just 6 years and 3 months after the 1945 victory, and despite all Attlee's governments had appeared to achieve, Labour was out of office, condemned to opposition for a further 13 years. This presents one of the great paradoxes of twentieth-century British history: how Attlee's government achieved so much, but lost power so quickly. But perhaps the greatest paradox was Attlee himself.
Attlee's obituary in "The Times" in 1967 stated that 'much of what he did was memorable; very little that he said'. This new biography, based on extensive research into Attlee's papers and first-hand interviews, examines the myths that have arisen around this key figure of British political life and provides a vivid portrait of the man and his politics.

About the Author

Nicklaus Thomas-Symonds is Lecturer in politics at St Edmund Hall, University of Oxford, a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and a practising barrister.

Praise For…

"A brisk, well written and admirably clear sighted biography." - The Sunday Times (UK)

"A thoroughly impressive piece of work – authoritative, reliable and perceptive ... This is rightly billed as a 'political biography' and in the realm of politics it is remarkably sure-footed." - Anthony Howard, former editor of The New Statesman and The Observer

"Very interesting and well researched. The reader gets a real sense of Attlee's life and politics, and the portrait of him is well-rounded and nuanced. This biography will be very useful for students seeking to gain a clear understanding of Attlee and marks a useful addition to the canon of Labour history" - Matthew Worley, Lecturer in History, University of Reading

Product Details
ISBN: 9781780762159
ISBN-10: 1780762151
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Publication Date: March 29th, 2012
Pages: 352
Language: English