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Professor Peter Hennessy is one of the foremost political historians in Britain today and is a frequent visitor to Downing Street and Whitehall as well as a popular broadcaster He writes lucidly and with humour and his personal insights into Prime Ministers since WWII are a joy to read As John Campbell of the Sunday Telegraph writes He anatomizes the mandarins and their masters with the infectious enthusiasm of David Attenborough marvelling at bats or bull frogs Even when he is critical of Professor Peter Hennessy is one of the foremost political historians in Britain today and is a frequent visitor to Downing Street and Whitehall as well as a popular broadcaster He writes lucidly and with humour and his personal insights into Prime Ministers since WWII are a joy to read As John Campbell of the Sunday Telegraph writes He anatomizes the mandarins and their masters with the infectious enthusiasm of David Attenborough marvelling at bats or bull frogs Even when he is critical of them, he plainly loves the cast of specimens whom history has thrown up for his inexhaustible delightan important book Great overview of the recent history of the UK but a weighty read. Brilliant book A detailed study with fascinating insider stories about the people and their policies Quite an academic overview outlining the political journey of the UK since 1945. Good book lots of interesting facts did not know before about Prime Ministers, particularly their personalities management skills or lack of.Very big book so not one for a quick read. I did enjoy it the overview of the office of British Prime Minister and its holders, both in terms of the nature of the office and the different PMs since 1945 I however think Hennessy spent too much time on the how each PM governed rather what they govern about and the policies they implemented What changes happened during their reign, how did they assent to power and fall from it, what where their political challenges, and how did they, if at all, change the nation These questions were most I did enjoy it the overview of the office of British Prime Minister and its holders, both in terms of the nature of the office and the different PMs since 1945 I however think Hennessy spent too much time on the how each PM governed rather what they govern about and the policies they implemented What changes happened during their reign, how did they assent to power and fall from it, what where their political challenges, and how did they, if at all, change the nation These questions were mostly left unanswered, when focusing on how much power was shared with the cabinet rather than containing it at No 10, which left me disappointed A bit of a joy, full of anecdote alongside each nimble character sketch of the eleven Prime Ministers from Attlee Attlee and Churchill s tenures in particular are full of amusing little details, such as Attlee s shortest ever TV interview, which, as I don t have the book to hand, runs only vaguely like this Interviewer Prime Minister, what are your plans for the forthcoming campaign and election Attlee removes pipe The first thing I shall do, as soon as I can get away from here, is to atten A bit of a joy, full of anecdote alongside each nimble character sketch of the eleven Prime Ministers from Attlee Attlee and Churchill s tenures in particular are full of amusing little details, such as Attlee s shortest ever TV interview, which, as I don t have the book to hand, runs only vaguely like this Interviewer Prime Minister, what are your plans for the forthcoming campaign and election Attlee removes pipe The first thing I shall do, as soon as I can get away from here, is to attend a meeting with members of my party where we shall decide on that very thing.Interviewer after short, strained pause Thank you Is there anything you would care to add on the matter of the election Attlee No.Other pleasures are imagining Churchill holding court of a morning from bed, while a nervous Rab Butler the then Chancellor tried to avoid becoming the victim of the Prime Minister s budgerigar s ablutive habits There s an interesting critique of Tony Blair s first three years, too, suggesting it would seem presciently that the pendulum may have swung too far towards presidentialism, and that it will probably prove his downfall Overall an Excellent guide to how the role of prime minister has evolved since 1945 up until about 2001 Less a historical guide to policy or events,a discussion of how governmental constitutional procedures and powers have changed over the period A little dense, but given the subject matter this is probably unavoidable. &Free Pdf ☟ The Prime Minister: The Office and Its Holders Since 1945 ⇳ In The Prime Minister the Office and its Holders since , Peter Hennessy explores the formal powers of the Prime Minister and how each incumbent has made the job his or her own Drawing on unparalleled access to many of the leading figures, as well as the key civil servants and journalists of each period, he has built up a picture of the hidden nexus of influence and patronage surrounding the officeFrom recently declassified archival material he reconstructs, often for the first time, precise prime ministerial attitudes towards the key issues of peace and war He concludes with a controversial assessment of the relative performance of each Prime Minister since , from Clement Atlee and Winston Churchhill to Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair, and proposes a new specification for the premiership as it enters its fourth century I really can t praise it too highly a tremendous achievement an instant classic Antony Jay, author of Yes, Prime Minister Supersedes everything else written on the subject If I were Tony Blair, I d keep a copy by my bedside Adam Sisman, Observer A must far and away the best account of the office of the First Lord of the Treasury, its history, powers and practice, and an independent assessment of the occupants of Downing Street since the Second World War Tony Benn, Spectator Important and extremely readable Hennessy s portrait of the Blair premiership is fascinating a major contribution to our understanding of how we are governed Peter Oborne, Sunday ExpressPeter Hennessy is Attlee Professor of History at Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London Among many other books, he is the author of The Secret State, Whitehall and Never Again Britain, which inwon the NCR Award for Non Fiction and the Duff Cooper Prize This is a surprisingly accessible book, opening up the different styles of political leadership amongst the post war PMs Some lean on the cabinet whilst others look beyond it, some exercise a hawkish foreign policy whilst othersinsular Quite long for a book but the subject matter and content keeps it interesting throughout. A must read for all of us who love British history, and in particular some of the nations Prime Ministers You ll get to know a bitabout Churchill, Eden, Macmillan, Douglas Home, Wilson, Heath, Callaghan, Thatcher and Blair.