Anthony Eden, who served as both Foreign Secretary and Prime Minister, was one of the central political figures of the twentieth century. He had good looks, charm, a Military Cross from the Great War, an Oxford first and a secure parliamentary constituency from his mid-twenties. He was Foreign Secretary at the age of 38, and the first British statesman to meet Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin. Eden's dramatic resignation from Neville Chamberlain's Cabinet in 1938, outlined here in the fullest detail yet, made an international impact. This ground-breaking book examines his controversial life and tells the inside story of the Munich crisis (1938), the Geneva Conference (1954), Eden's battles with Churchill over the modernisation of the post-war Conservative Party and his rivalry with Butler and Macmillan in the early 1950s, culminating in a fascinating analysis of the Suez crisis.
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(234mm x 156mm x 33mm)
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
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UK Kirkus Review »
With highly acclaimed biographies on Neville Chamberlain and Alec Douglas-Home already to his credit, D R Thorpe - a senior member of Brasenose College, Oxford - here turns his perceptive talents to the life of the first Earl of Avon. This hefty biography reveals a man at the centre of some of the most significant political events of the 20th century, not just at home but also on the European and world stages. Born in the late 19th century during the reign of Queen Victoria, he would become a key international figure on the pre- and post-Second World War landscape. Early experiences included education at Eton and action during the Great War, during which he was decorated with a Military Cross. That war was to have an understandably huge impact on the young Eden and instilled in him 'a sense of responsibility for his country's welfare'. He left Oxford with a first and turned his attention on politics, becoming Foreign Secretary before his 40th birthday. Great swings in fortune saw him resign from Chamberlain's Government in 1938, only to return to serve under Churchill during the Second World War, before the Suez Crisis, which was to become his Waterloo. Here was a man 'born into a generation that was to leave a marked impression on world history', a generation that spawned both 'titans and tyrants'. Eden's life had as a backdrop some truly momentous occasions, and this erudite work considers the cultural and social aspects of those rapidly changing times. It is complemented by some fascinating photographs, including one of a clearly happy Eden, smoking a cigarette and surrounded by a bunch of Russian and British serviceman outside the Reichstag in 1945. Whatever you need to know about Anthony Eden, you need look no further. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - D.R. Thorpe
D. R. Thorpe is a senior member of Brasenose College, Oxford. He has written widely on twentieth-century British political history, and was invited to undertake this biography by the Countess of Avon, Eden's widow, who has made important new material available to him.