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Harold Macmillan was one of the most fascinating and complex politicians of the twentieth century. Whether as crofter's great-grandson or Duke's son-in-law, he presented a puzzling and often contradictory face to the world. His vision of that world was shaped by his searing experiences in the trenches of the Great War, in which he was severely wounded. Macmillan emerged from the conflict determined to make his contribution to the post-war settlement. His work as a Conservative MP during the depression further shaped his emerging political consciousness. Yet as a Tory rebel, opposing the orthodox economic policies of the 1930s and the appeasement policies of his own government, he remained on the backbenches as an outspoken political exile. The Second World War was his making when Churchill first gave him executive command as 'Viceroy of the Mediterranean'. After the Conservative defeat in the 1945 election, Macmillan was a central figure in overhauling the political philosophy of his party on progressive and radical lines. From 1951 he served as Minister of Housing, Defence Secretary, Foreign Secretary and Chancellor of the Exchequer during the Suez Crisis of 1956, which is full
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Supermac is a truly important political biography, of significance to everyone interested in the history of the 20th century. Packed with new revelations about Macmillan's private life as well as key events including the 'Tolstoy' controversy, the Suez Crisis, You've Never Had It So Good, the Winds of Change and the Profumo Scandal.

About the Author

D.R. Thorpe's work on the constitutional history and politics of the 20th century has made him one of Britain's most respected historians. He has written biographies of Alec Douglas-Home, Anthony Eden, Selwyn Lloyd, Austen Chamberlain, Lord Curzon and Lord Butler. Thorpe is a senior member of Brasenose College, Oxford, and has been a Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge, and of St Antony's College, Oxford.


"This is how D.R. Thorpe tells the story, eloquently and elegantly, as he does everything in this exemplary biography, which complements if it does not entirely supplant Alistair Horne's two-volume official Life; Horne is better on the military, Thorpe on the political and personal. At every juncture Thorpe presents the evidence in a scrupulous and equable style" -- Ferdinand Mount * London Review of Books * "A spellbinding insight into the fascinating character of one of the most remarkable politicians of the twentieth century" * Evening Standard * "DR Thorpe is one of our finest historians, and this is one of his finest books: painstaking, detailed, but always readable. You come as close as you can to understanding Macmillan from these pages" * Observer * "This humane, elegantly written, exhaustively researched biography is the best yet of Macmillan, and indeed one of the best of any postwar prime minister" -- David Kynaston * Guardian * "Superb biography...Thorpe has three qualities that make him a first-rate biographer and they are all evident here. He is a phenomenal scholar and has left almost no primary source untapped for this book. He is the master of the anecdote, in which the book abounds and which as a result makes it a joy to read...But best of all, Thorpe writes beautifully... he understands that in writing the life of a politician, it is not all about politics" -- Simon Heffer * Daily Telegraph *

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