10 books like Harold Macmillan

By Sir Alistair Horne,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Harold Macmillan. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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The Fringes of Power

By John Colville,

Book cover of The Fringes of Power: 10 Downing Street Diaries, 1939-1955

John “Jock” Colville, a 24-year-old Foreign Office staffer, was assigned to work at 10 Downing Street, Britain’s equivalent of the White House, at the outbreak of World War II. When Winston Churchill replaced Neville Chamberlain as prime minister, Colville, who kept a detailed secret diary, chronicled the new leader’s every move as he rallied his countrymen to keep fighting Hitler’s Germany. His entries for this critical period offer a vivid behind-the-scenes portrait of Churchill, his inner circle—and his strenuous efforts to forge a close partnership with President Roosevelt, who had vowed to keep his country out of the war.

The Fringes of Power

By John Colville,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Fringes of Power as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The diaries of Winston Churchill's private secretary from 1941 to 1945 and from 1951 to 1955 provides a unique view of World War II, of Churchill's wartime activities and those of his personal staff


The Harold Nicolson Diaries 1907-1964

By Nigel Nicolson,

Book cover of The Harold Nicolson Diaries 1907-1964

Like Colville, Nicolson is not very important in himself (a backbench MP for most of the time) but one who matters because he knows so many greater figures and because he writes with such honesty – particularly interesting when his predictions turn out to be wrong. If you get hooked, you can read the earlier edition, which is in three volumes.

The Harold Nicolson Diaries 1907-1964

By Nigel Nicolson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Harold Nicolson Diaries 1907-1964 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of the great 20th century political diaries

'A tremendous read' SPECTATOR

'One stops to marvel at the achievement. Honesty, decency, modesty, magnanimity, are stamped on every page, as evident as the wit' EVENING STANDARD

Harold Nicolson was one of the three great political diarists of the 20th century (along with Chips Channon and Alan Clark). Nicolson was an MP (Conservative, 1935-45, who also flirted with Labour after WWII). He had previously been in the Foreign Office and attended the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, and material from his period is included in this new edition for the first time.…


Who's In, Who's Out

By Kenneth Rose,

Book cover of Who's In, Who's Out: The Journals of Kenneth Rose: Volume One 1944-1979

Rose wrote the Albany column in The Sunday Telegraph and it is tempting to dismiss him as a gossip columnist who spread amusing and implausible stories about the bons mots of Princess Margaret. In fact, Rose was a more substantial person. He was interested in the British establishment but aware of himself as an outsider (partly because he was of Jewish origin). He was also, particularly during the early part of his career, an odd kind of modernizer – close to Tony Benn, whom he had known at university.

Who's In, Who's Out

By Kenneth Rose,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Who's In, Who's Out as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'The most detailed, amusing and accurate account ever of the post-war world of the English Establishment' William Shawcross, Daily Telegraph
'Extremely entertaining' Jane Ridley, Literary Review

Kenneth Rose was one of the most astute observers of the establishment for over seventy years. The wry and amusing journals of the royal biographer and historian made objective observation a sculpted craft.

His impeccable social placement located him within the beating heart of the national elite for decades. He was capable of writing substantial history, such as his priceless material on the abdication crisis from conversations with both the Duke of Windsor and…


The Alan Clark Diaries

By Alan Clark,

Book cover of The Alan Clark Diaries: In Power 1983-1992

Clark was a nasty man – not a lovable rogue but a real bastard with Nazi sympathies and a taste for young girls. The first volume of his diaries, however, are brilliant because they are so extraordinarily uninhibited. He reveals everything about himself including his own fraudulence.

The Alan Clark Diaries

By Alan Clark,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Alan Clark Diaries as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The first volume of Alan Clark's diaries, covering two Parliaments during which he served under Margaret Thatcher - until her ousting in a coup which Clark observed closely from the inside - and then under John Major, constitute the most outspoken and revealing account of British political life ever written. Cabinet colleagues, royalty, ambassadors, civil servants and foreign dignitaries are all subjected to Clark's vivid and often wittily acerbic pen, as he candidly records the daily struggle for ascendancy within the corridors of power.


The War Years 1939-1945, Volume II of the Diaries and Letters

By Harold Nicolson,

Book cover of The War Years 1939-1945, Volume II of the Diaries and Letters

Harold Nicolson was a conservative member of Parliament and staunch supporter of Churchill, who also worked in the Information Ministry. While he publicly echoed Churchill’s rhetoric of defiance and optimism, his private letters and diary indicate how close to despair he was about Britain’s chances after the fall of France. He made a suicide pact with his wife and secured poison pills they pledged to use if German forces invaded their country. Nicolson wrote to her that he did not fear an “honorable death,” but he did fear “being tortured and humiliated.” All of which demonstrated the perilous position of Britain in late 1940 and early 1941, when it was far from certain which side would prevail in the conflict.

The War Years 1939-1945, Volume II of the Diaries and Letters

By Harold Nicolson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The War Years 1939-1945, Volume II of the Diaries and Letters as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

To lose his Government post after a scant year and spend the rest of the war as a backbencher was a grievous trial for Harold Nicolson. Yet it is precisely this middle-distance view that made him a superb recorder of those tumultuous times from 1939 to 1945. In Parliament he had a window on history-in-the-making; elsewhere he found the needed leisure and detachment to collate his thoughts, consider the deeper aspects of what he observed, and predict the future.

Ever since 1930, Nicolson had consigned to his journals the rich overflow of a capacious mind, sharply honed by the disciplines…


Live from Number Ten

By Michael Cockerell,

Book cover of Live from Number Ten: The Inside Story of Prime Ministers and Television

This is the book that really turned me on to political history – though I suppose I must have been interested already, or my parents wouldn’t have bought it for me for my fourteenth birthday! It’s a fairly light read, but it’s a great way of learning the outlines of what happened in British politics in the thirty-odd years after 1945. When it was published it still seemed as though Margaret Thatcher would be Prime Minister forever …

Live from Number Ten

By Michael Cockerell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Live from Number Ten as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As BBC's "Panorama's" chief political reporter for 13 years, Michael Cockerell won three major television awards. Apart from this book he also made a two-part documentary on television and Number 10. His previous book is "Sources Close to the Prime Minister".


Australia

By W.K. Hancock,

Book cover of Australia

A classic written on the eve of the Great Depression on the political culture of the British settlers in the great south land, with its commitment to egalitarianism, to bureaucratic process, and to protection all round, with restricted immigration and protective tariffs building ring-fences around ordinary workers’ standard of living. Hancock does not wholly approve of the result, which he sees as encouraging mediocre conformity. Written with verve and a sardonic eye.

Australia

By W.K. Hancock,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Australia as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


The Worst Class in the World Gets Worse

By Joanna Nadin, Rikin Parekh (illustrator),

Book cover of The Worst Class in the World Gets Worse

What all of Joanna Nadin’s books have in common is her ability to capture the voice of her characters so perfectly they feel truly alive. The children of class 4B have that loveable lunacy I remember from teaching kids this age. That authenticity is what has kids falling off their chairs with laughter, and what makes this such a great book to read aloud. You’ll find yourself repeating catchphrases later. Rikin Parekh’s illustrations add another layer of brilliance and perfectly capture the characters and their comedy antics. Literally hilarious!

“Dad says well at least I haven’t been arrested. Grandpa says being arrested would be getting off lightly and in his day he had to walk five miles to school barefoot and eat gravel for lunch. 

Mum who works at the council says, ‘I have spent all day listening to Mr. Butterworth bang on about bollards and the last thing I…

The Worst Class in the World Gets Worse

By Joanna Nadin, Rikin Parekh (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Worst Class in the World Gets Worse as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Deliciously silly, with hilarious catchphrases... a great cheer-up book' The Guardian
'HILARIOUS! Proper laughs!' Pamela Butchart
______________________________

A laugh-out-loud young fiction series from bestselling author Joanna Nadin, perfect for fans of Horrid Henry.

According to head teacher Mrs Bottomley-Blunt, 4B is the WORST CLASS IN THE WORLD. She says school is not about footling or fiddle-faddling or FUN. It is about LEARNING and it is high time 4B tried harder to EXCEL at it.

But Stanley and Manjit didn't LITERALLY mean to flood the toilets when they should have been monitoring the playground. And they definitely didn't LITERALLY mean to…


Mud, Blood and Poppycock

By Gordon Corrigan,

Book cover of Mud, Blood and Poppycock: Britain and the Great War

The shout line on the jacket is “This will overturn everything you thought you knew about…The First World War”, and it certainly delivers. No other conflict has been so misrepresented, and for most people, their idea of it comes straight from Blackadder Goes Forth. But men did not spend months at a time in the trenches; a whole generation did not die; the generals were not cowardly, incompetent fools.

When I first began to write about WW1 for my Morland Dynasty series, I knew as little as anyone, and what I thought I knew was all wrong! By the time I was researching for War At Home, I knew a lot more, but Corrigan opens my eyes to many more subjects. Informative, well-researched, but above all wonderfully readable, this book should be required reading for anyone who is interested in what really happened, not just the made-for-tv version.

Mud, Blood and Poppycock

By Gordon Corrigan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Mud, Blood and Poppycock as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The true story of how Britain won the First World War.

The popular view of the First World War remains that of BLACKADDER: incompetent generals sending brave soldiers to their deaths. Alan Clark quoted a German general's remark that the British soldiers were 'lions led by donkeys'. But he made it up.

Indeed, many established 'facts' about 1914-18 turn out to be myths woven in the 1960s by young historians on the make. Gordon Corrigan's brilliant, witty history reveals how out of touch we have become with the soldiers of 1914-18. They simply would not recognize the way their generation…


A Day in the Life of a Smiling Woman

By Margaret Drabble,

Book cover of A Day in the Life of a Smiling Woman: Complete Short Stories

The one and only collection by this great novelist [and the sister of A.S. Byatt] is one of my most favorite. These short tales explore all sorts of relationships, not only marriage and friendship, but our relationships with personal identity, politics, and the culture which defines us. The writing is absolutely divine – images pop from the page and characters stay with us as if we’ve actually known them. And between the lines there is a lot of philosophical musing, which I love – just enough to make us think but never wear us down. These stories are for women who like to explore the existential. Think of them as a workout for the brain. 

A Day in the Life of a Smiling Woman

By Margaret Drabble,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Day in the Life of a Smiling Woman as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Margaret Drabble is one of the major literary figures of her generation. In this collection of her complete short fiction from across four decades, she examines the intense private worlds and passions of everyday people.

From one man's honeymooning epiphany in 'Hassan's Tower' to the journeying fantasies of 'A Voyage to Cythera', and from the sharp joy of 'The Merry Widow' to the bloody reality of the collection's title story, these are moving, witty and provocative tales, exploring cruel and loving relationships, social change and personal obsessions, and confirming her status as a leading practitioner of the art of the…


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