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Mount Amery

Paul Addison

20 November 1980
The Leo Amery​ Diaries 
edited by John Barnes and David Nicholson, introduced by Julian Amery.
Hutchinson, 653 pp., £27.50, October 1980, 0 09 131910 2
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... while the story was still hot, they were strongly aroused by the sight of naked acts of power, and thrilled to bits by their own part in the proceedings. With the diaries of Leopold Stennett Amery we return to the politics of an era whose revelations are chiefly of interest to professional historians. And we return in the company of a politician who was often regarded as a long-winded bore ...

Young Brutes

R.W. Johnson: The Amerys

23 February 2006
Speaking for England: Leo, Julian and John Amery: The Tragedy of a Political Family 
by David Faber.
Free Press, 612 pp., £20, October 2005, 0 7432 5688 3
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... LeoAmery, who lived and breathed the British Empire and could claim to have invented the Commonwealth, would doubtless find it sad that he is chiefly remembered for helping to bring down Neville Chamberlain ...
3 January 2008
... out of line: once, in 1923, after he called the Conservative MPs who had economised on child welfare ‘murderers’. On another occasion he got into a fight inside the House with the Conservative MP LeoAmery, who in Maxton’s view had slandered a colleague. He was no Parliamentarian: he didn’t spend his time building alliances or toeing party lines. As Brown portrays him, Maxton was always in ...
24 November 1994
The Principle of Duty 
by David Selbourne.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 288 pp., £17.99, June 1994, 1 85619 474 4
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... Her belief that patriotism and ‘family values’ were consistent with a passion for self-advancement was defensible, but was never properly defended, and as the career of Tory imperialists like LeoAmery suggests, it’s a view that justifies the creation of a welfare state rather than its destruction. Her supporters were busy enough tearing down what had been erected by previous Labour and ...

Refuge of the Aristocracy

Paul Smith: The British Empire

21 June 2001
Ornamentalism: How the British Saw Their Empire 
by David Cannadine.
Allen Lane, 264 pp., £16.99, May 2001, 0 7139 9506 8
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... imperial propaganda in schools, and it is hard not to suppose a widespread consciousness of empire among all classes. But informed interest and enthusiasm cannot safely be inferred. The 13-year-old LeoAmery, delighting his Harrow master by citing the Nizam of Hyderabad’s offer of money and troops to the Queen in the event of trouble with Russia as the most important political event of the summer ...
22 October 1992
The British Constitution Now 
by Ferdinand Mount.
Heinemann, 289 pp., £18.50, April 1992, 0 434 47994 2
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Constitutional Reform 
by Robert Brazier.
Oxford, 172 pp., £22.50, September 1991, 0 19 876257 7
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Anatomy of Thatcherism 
by Shirley Letwin.
Fontana, 364 pp., £6.99, October 1992, 0 00 686243 8
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... retrospect, the old spirit of the Constitution turns out to be what Montesquieu had supposed, but few English have believed – the separation of powers peculiar to our kingdom. Colported home by LeoAmery, the judgment of De l’esprit de lois re-emerges as the deeper truth of our institutions after all, whatever historians may say. This departure from the verdict of modern scholarship is not ...
5 December 1991
Thatcher’s People 
by John Ranelagh.
HarperCollins, 324 pp., £15.99, September 1991, 0 00 215410 2
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Staying Power 
by Peter Walker.
Bloomsbury, 248 pp., £16.99, October 1991, 0 7475 1034 2
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... man. From childhood on, Walker was demonically energetic in pursuit of two purposes: making money and advancing in politics. Seldom did he miss an opportunity, whether through the chance patronage of LeoAmery or an unexploited gap in the insurance market. He stood for Parliament at 23, ran the Young Conservatives at 26, was beginning to be seriously rich before he was 30. He has a chapter on his ...
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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... gathering of the World’s Greatest Historians to discuss the World’s Greatest Statesman in the World’s Greatest State of Texas. Louis himself is the not undistinguished author of a good book on LeoAmery among other things, but his co-editor Lord Blake is ... Lord Blake, former Chairman of the Rhodes Trustees, former editor of the Dictionary of National Biography, former ... no, the Disraeli ...

Wafted to India

Richard Gott: Unlucky Wavell

5 October 2006
Wavell: Soldier and Statesman 
by Victoria Schofield.
Murray, 512 pp., £30, March 2006, 0 7195 6320 8
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... sent off to Delhi with a meaningless directive to improve the material lot of the people of India and to assuage communal strife. ‘You are wafted to India on a wave of hot air,’ he was told by LeoAmery, the secretary of state. ‘I accepted the viceroyalty in the spirit of a military appointment,’ Wavell explained in his diary at the end of the year. ‘One goes where one is told in time of ...

Parcelled Out

Ferdinand Mount: The League of Nations

21 October 2015
The Guardians: The League of Nations and the Crisis of Empire 
by Susan Pedersen.
Oxford, 571 pp., £22.99, June 2015, 978 0 19 957048 5
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... by a genial lifestyle. ‘Voilà l’artillerie de la Société des Nations!’ one Spanish delegate exclaimed as he heard a champagne cork popping – a wisecrack fondly recalled by the imperialist LeoAmery, who loathed the League. Yet if the commission’s ethos was one of ‘benevolent imperialism’, it was still imperialism. Pedersen points out that ‘at no point did the Mandates Commission ...

All about the Beef

Bernard Porter: The Food War

14 July 2011
The Taste of War: World War Two and the Battle for Food 
by Lizzie Collingham.
Allen Lane, 634 pp., £30, January 2011, 978 0 7139 9964 8
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... in Britain’s. Collingham argues that the great Bengal Famine of 1942-43 could have been averted or eased if the Indian government had been as solicitous of Indian nutrition as it was of European. LeoAmery, the secretary of state for India, looked back on it as ‘the worst blow we have had to our name as an empire in our lifetime’, which it probably was. To be fair, however, Britain’s ...

Trying to Make Decolonisation Look Good

Bernard Porter: The End of Empire

2 August 2007
Britain’s Declining Empire: The Road to Decolonisation, 1918-68 
by Ronald Hyam.
Cambridge, 464 pp., £17.99, February 2007, 978 0 521 68555 9
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The Last Thousand Days of the British Empire 
by Peter Clarke.
Allen Lane, 559 pp., August 2007, 978 0 7139 9830 6
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Forgotten Wars: The End of Britain’s Asian Empire 
by Christopher Bayly and Tim Harper.
Allen Lane, 673 pp., £30, January 2007, 978 0 7139 9782 8
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... their basic duties, as in Bengal in 1943, where imperial neglect, incompetence and occasionally sheer malevolence contributed significantly to the huge death toll in the great famine of that year. LeoAmery, the secretary of state for India at the time, at first tried to put the blame on the Indians, for over-breeding. In fact, it was a largely government-made tragedy, comparable in its effects ...

Airy-Fairy

Conor Gearty: Blunkett’s Folly

29 November 2001
Human Rights and the End of Empire: Britain and the Genesis of the European Convention 
by A.W.B. Simpson.
Oxford, 1176 pp., £40, June 2001, 0 19 826289 2
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... mind was nothing to do with food and housing, but with gaining the opportunity to trade. When victory against the Germans was assured, the champions of a new Western alliance (such as Duff Cooper and LeoAmery) saw it, Simpson says, as ‘a bloc linked by a common democratic ideology opposed to Russian Communism’. In public the bloc was always presented as a means of protection against a revival of ...

A Very Bad Case

Michael Brock

11 June 1992
Herbert Samuel: A Political Life 
by Bernard Wasserstein.
Oxford, 427 pp., £45, January 1992, 0 19 822648 9
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... largely in the shares of associated companies. We must be prepared to find that when they say they did not ‘see’ a man they mean they spoke to him on the telephone.’ On 12 February 1913, when Leo Maxse appeared before the Select Committee, it became clear that the secret of the American purchases was out. Maxse’s evidence was very damaging, but in reporting it Le Matin made the allegations ...

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