The Impossible Office?: The History of the British Prime Minister (Hardback)
  • The Impossible Office?: The History of the British Prime Minister (Hardback)
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The Impossible Office?: The History of the British Prime Minister (Hardback)

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£19.99
Hardback 430 Pages / Published: 01/04/2021
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Waterstones Says

Chronicling the 300-year history of the office of British Prime Minister with eloquence and authority, Sir Anthony Seldon’s panoramic account of 55 residents of 10 Downing Street is underpinned by extraordinary political insight.

Marking the third centenary of the office of Prime Minister, this book tells its extraordinary story, explaining how and why it has endured longer than any other democratic political office in world history.

Sir Anthony Seldon, historian of Number 10 Downing Street, explores the lives and careers, loves and scandals, successes and failures, of all our great Prime Ministers.

From Robert Walpole and William Pitt the Younger, to Clement Attlee and Margaret Thatcher, Seldon discusses which of our Prime Ministers have been most effective and why. He reveals the changing relationship between the Monarchy and the office of the Prime Minister in intimate detail, describing how the increasing power of the Prime Minister in becoming leader of Britain coincided with the steadily falling influence of the Monarchy.

This book celebrates the humanity and frailty, work and achievement, of these 55 remarkable individuals, who averted revolution and civil war, leading the country through times of peace, crisis and war.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781316515327
Number of pages: 430
Weight: 770 g
Dimensions: 235 x 160 x 30 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

'A tremendous, magisterial book, informed and underpinned by brilliant historical and political insight. A triumph.' - William Boyd

'Anthony Seldon enriches our understanding of what it takes to run Britain, with some intriguing ideas for improving the Premiership.' - Camilla Cavendish, former Head of No. 10 Policy Unit

'A brilliant, panoramic survey of the fifty-five individuals who have been prime minister since Robert Walpole - and their families too. The most moving sentence is right at the end. On the evening of David Cameron's resignation, his daughter asks him at bedtime: 'Daddy, when are we going back home?' By then, you feel you know many of the holders of the office of prime minister intimately, how they changed it and it and how it changed them. A must read.' - Andrew Adonis, former transport minister, education minister

'Anthony Seldon has a brilliant ability to capture the humanity of prime ministers as well as their role in history which is why this fascinating account is so readable as well as authoritative. It is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand both how Downing Street works and the extraordinary characters of those who have lived there.' - Rachel Sylvester, The Times

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