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A Proper Stoic

John Bayley, 8 May 1986

Duff Cooper: The Authorised Biography 
by John Charmley.
Weidenfeld, 265 pp., £12.95, April 1986, 0 297 78857 4
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... else does. Christopher Sykes attributed Waugh’s dislike of Duff to sexual envy and jealousy, and John Charmley agrees that it exhibits Waugh ‘in an oddly unfamiliar light’. Waugh may well have been frustrated and made to feel small by not knowing what the Cooper protocol was really like, or what Diana Cooper was about. She did not behave as he ...

World’s Greatest Statesman

Edward Luttwak, 11 March 1993

Churchill: The End of Glory 
by John Charmley.
Hodder, 648 pp., £30, January 1993, 9780340487952
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Churchill: A Major New Assessment of his Life in Peace and War 
edited by Robert Blake and Wm Roger Louis.
Oxford, 517 pp., £19.95, February 1993, 0 19 820317 9
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... written of Winston in World War Two (or WWW2 for short), there was no possibility whatever that Charmley’s 648 pages for 30 quid would pass by quietly, attracting deadly praise of ‘the best one-volume Churchill biography published this fortnight’ variety. Inevitably, the suggestion that post-1945 world events might have turned out more favourably had ...

Policy Failure

Jonathan Parry: The Party Paradox, 21 November 2019

The End Is Nigh: British Politics, Power and the Road to the Second World War 
by Robert Crowcroft.
Oxford, 284 pp., £25, May 2019, 978 0 19 882369 8
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... crisis explicitly in this vein, following Maurice Cowling (The Impact of Hitler, 1975) and John Charmley (Chamberlain and the Lost Peace, 1989). Crowcroft presents himself as a disciple of Cowling and The End Is Nigh is a racier, more simplistic and more emotive version of Cowling’s book. Cowling was less hostile to the revisionists than to the ...

Over Several Tops

Bernard Porter: Winston Churchill, 14 January 2002

Churchill: A Study in Greatness 
by Geoffrey Best.
Hambledon, 370 pp., £19.95, May 2001, 1 85285 253 4
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by Roy Jenkins.
Macmillan, 1002 pp., £30, October 2001, 0 333 78290 9
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... to get over nine hundred pages out of them. (For his mere 336 pages Best casts much wider.) John Morley and William Harcourt, whom Jenkins toyed with doing before deciding on the big ‘un, would have required far more research. There is also clearly a market for Churchilliana, not only in Britain but in the US (for which Jenkins’s glossary of British ...

Eden and Suez

David Gilmour, 18 December 1986

Anthony Eden 
by Robert Rhodes James.
Weidenfeld, 665 pp., £16.95, October 1986, 0 297 78989 9
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Descent to Suez: Diaries 1951-56 
by Evelyn Shuckburgh, edited by John Charmley.
Weidenfeld, 380 pp., £14.95, October 1986, 0 297 78993 7
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Cutting the Lion’s Tail: Suez through Egyptian Eyes 
by Mohamed Heikal.
Deutsch, 242 pp., £12.95, October 1986, 0 233 97967 0
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The Suez Affair 
by Hugh Thomas.
Weidenfeld, 255 pp., £5.95, October 1986, 0 297 78953 8
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... a bit of a lightweight, a ‘natural number two’ who should never have become prime minister. John Grigg wrote of him before the Suez crisis: ‘Popularity means much more to him than it ever should mean to a statesman. Since the early days, when he was idolised by millions on account of his personal appearance and blameless views, he has never lost the ...

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