Reissued with a new foreword to mark the centenary of Harold Wilson’s birth, Ben Pimlott’s classic biography combines scholarship and observation to illuminate the life and career of one of Britain’s most controversial post-war statesmen.
Harold Wilson is one of the most enigmatic personalities of recent British history. He held office as Prime Minister for longer than any other Labour leader, and longer than any other premier in peacetime apart from Mrs Thatcher. His success at winning General Elections – four in all – has so far not been matched. His grasp of economic policy was better than that of any other Prime Minister, and he enjoyed a high reputation among foreign leaders. Yet, in retrospect, he seems a master tactician rather than a strategist – and he is regarded today with more curiosity than respect, when he is not treated with contempt.
”'One of the great political biographies of the century” - A.N. Wilson, Evening Standard
”'Admirable and engrossing … Professor Pimlott’s picture of life at Number 10 and the strife within is vivid and unforgettable” - Daily Telegraph
”'A masterly piece of political writing” - New Statesman
”'The narrative gallops along, sweeping the reader with it in a rush of excitement. A mass of complex detail is marshalled with the art that conceals art” - Times Literary Supplement
”'Fascinating … Pimlott the X-ray has produced a work of formidable penetration” - Observer
”'His narrative is quite outstanding - clear, thoughtful and gripping … Some biographies enter the political discourse at once, thanks to their innate qualities and lucky timing. There are so many echoes of the Wilson years in the politics of today that this happy fate must surely belong to Pimlott’s book” - Andrew Marr, Independent