The Prime Ministers We Never Had: Success and Failure from Butler to Corbyn (Hardback)Steve Richards (author)
In this engrossing analysis of Westminster giants who failed to make it all the way to Number 10, the respected political commentator assesses the merits of figures from Roy Jenkins to Jeremy Corbyn.
Was Harold Wilson a bigger figure than Denis Healey? Was John Major more 'prime ministerial' than Michael Heseltine? What would Britain look like today if David Miliband had become Labour leader instead of his brother Ed? Would Jeremy Corbyn have done a better job of handling the Covid-19 pandemic than Boris Johnson?
In this piercing and original history, Steve Richards looks at eleven prime ministers we never had, examining what made each of these illustrious figures unique and why they failed to make the final leap to the top. Based on unprecedented access and interviews with figures like Roy Jenkins, Barbara Castle, Michael Portillo, the Miliband brothers and many more, this fascinating study of failure and success sheds new light on some of the most compelling characters in British public life.
Publisher: Atlantic Books
Number of pages: 320
Weight: 681 g
Dimensions: 234 x 153 x 23 mm
'Excellent... Steve Richards is one of the shrewdest political commentators we have.' - Andrew Marr
'A better and more thought-provoking book than most of those about prime ministers.' - Tim Shipman
'With Steve Richards applying his deep knowledge and firm political grasp we get a book that is as entertaining as it is elucidating.' - Alan Johnson
'A gallery of losers, in one sense. But these are losers of rare political talent. With his usual insight, Steve Richards considers the fortunes of political stars who never made it to Number Ten... illuminating and entertaining.' - Huw Edwards
'A brilliant and fascinating reminder of all the big beasts who could have led the country.' - Ayesha Hazarika
'A fascinating and original book that sheds new light on the forces that shape British politics.' - Iain Dale
'A story of slamming doors and sliding doors. Terrific insights on the great prime ministers we didn't have from one of shrewdest political commentators we're lucky to have.' - Jon Sopel
'A compelling account of the nearly men and women of Number 10. Steve Richards is a must-read writer on politics, with the rare talent of being both fun and informative.' - John Crace
'Britain's unusually capricious system of selecting its prime ministers means some very gifted leaders have been left on the shelf. There is no one better qualified than Steve Richards to blow away the cobwebs, and to tell us which of them might have made better prime ministers than the rum lot we sometimes got.' - Sir Anthony Seldon, author of The Impossible Office
'Insightful and entertaining. Steve Richards remains among the brightest and best of British writers and broadcasters.' - Nick Timothy, former Downing Street chief of staff
'A thoughtful and compelling book... the chapters on Tony Blair and Gordon Brown are the jewels in the crown, but the entire set glitter.' - Stephen Bush, The Observer on The Prime Ministers
'Brilliant.' - Independent on The Prime Ministers
'A fascinating read... Steve's writing is revealing and entertaining.' - John Humphrys on The Prime Ministers *
'A pure pleasure to read. In Richards' bright, sharp portraits of nine prime ministers, all our modern history springs to life. An enlightening retrospective.' - Polly Toynbee on The Prime Ministers
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Having heard Steve Richards speak on this topic on the radio, I was really looking forward to reading his new book. It did not disappoint. He takes us on a fascinating journey through eleven politicians who could have... More
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