By John Bew
Through the first half the 20th century, Winston Churchill's wartime heroics and larger-than-life character propelled him to the guts of the realm level. To such a lot, he is still nice Britain's maximum major Minister, his reputation and air of mystery overshadowing those that in his footsteps. but whereas he presided over his country's best hour, he was once no longer its such a lot consequential chief. during this definitive new biography, John Bew unearths how that designation belongs to Clement Attlee, Churchill's successor, who introduced a brand new period of political, monetary, and social reform that will ceaselessly swap nice Britain.
Bew's thorough and prepared exam of Attlee, the previous chief of the Labour occasion, illuminates how his revolutionary ideals formed his influential family and overseas coverage. then again criticized for being "too socialist" or "not radical enough," Attlee's quiet tenacity was once intrinsic to the good fortune of his celebration and hugely pertinent to British id total. In 1948, he confirmed the nationwide healthiness provider as a part of his "British New Deal"-a accomplished, common method of coverage, welfare, and kinfolk allowances to be loved through all British voters. Attlee additionally initiated key developments in diplomacy through assisting the improvement of either the United international locations and the North Atlantic Treaty association, and through granting independence to India, Burma, and Ceylon. extra controversially, he sanctioned the construction of Britain's nuclear deterrent according to the increase of the Soviet Union and the specter of atomic bombs.
Clement Attlee: the fellow Who Made glossy Britain explores his tenure within the years after the battle, as he presided over an intensive new executive in an age of austerity and imperial decline. Bew mines modern memoirs, diaries, and press excerpts to offer readers with an illuminating and intimate check out Attlee's existence and occupation. aware of either the fellow and the political panorama, this entire biography presents new perception into the soul of a pace-setter who reworked his kingdom and through extension the enormous empire over which it as soon as ruled.
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Additional info for Clement Attlee: The Man Who Made Modern Britain
The famous song of that name had been written by the Irish-born London socialist Jim Connell in 1889, on a train journey from Charing Cross to New Cross, during the London dock strike of that year. 23 These were the stories and songs which any new recruit was reared on. 24 While Vladimir Lenin viewed the British Labour movement with contempt, he made an exception for Connell, awarding him the Order of the Red Banner in 1922, the highest honour in the Soviet Union. While ‘The Red Flag’ had become the song of the British Labour Party, it also had a radical association with communism.
The eldest were two boys, Bernard and Robert, both of whom had long left home by the time Clement came to adolescence. They were followed by the three girlsÂ€– Mary, Dorothy, and Margaret (Mig), who acted as the glue between the older and younger boys. Of the three youngest, there was Thomas (born in 1880), then Clement (1883), and the youngest child Laurence (1884). These last three remained particularly close, as there was ‘with apologies to rudyard kipling’ | 29 an eight-year gap between Thomas and Mig.
73 The degeneration of the English Revolution into dictatorship was something that bore heavily on his mind, particularly after 1933. Nor was there the slightest hint of anti-monarchism in his make-up. 74 This was genuine and strongly felt, reflected in his personal friendship with King George VI, whose death in 1952 shook him greatly. 75 He understood the crucial role that the nonconformist conscience had played for the early activists of the socialist movement – both in terms of creating a rallying cause and providing the spiritual impetus to action.