Between 1996 and 2011, Nicholas was Public Policy Editor at the Financial Times. He has written extensively on public and private health care over the years and has worked with The King's Fund on a number of reports, including the recent Commission on Leadership and Management in the NHS. He was president of the Social Policy Association between 2008-11.
`Why make a book that was first published in 1995 one of the political books of the year? Because this third edition of the classic history of the welfare state adds 16 years to the previous account. Anyone who hasn't read Five Giants will want to start at the beginning, particularly for the excellent account of the founding of the NHS. But those with previous editions will find, for instance, the explanation of how the Lansley health reforms went wrong riveting' Danny Finkelstein, The Times
`For years now, old copies of The Five Giants have been changing hands in Westminster for dizzying sums - and for a simple reason. Other books just offer fragments of the story of British government, only this gives you the full picture. I lend my copy to new recruits at The Spectator not as history but as a guide to what they will encounter - and how the same problems keep surfacing again and again. The facts and the figures, the jokes and one-liners, the power and the personality - The Five Giants has it all. It's possible to understand modern Britain without reading this book, but it's just a lot harder (and a lot less fun)' Fraser Nelson, Spectator
`Nicholas Timmins has done something extraordinary: he has made a masterpiece of contemporary history even better. Updated, extended and more relevant than ever, this book is quite simply indispensable' Matthew d'Ancona
`A tour de force - thoroughly researched and vividly written' Sunday Times