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by Nick Thomas-Symonds

Attlee: A Life in Politics by Nick Thomas-Symonds


Clement Attlee: Britain’s best prime minister? With Nick Thomas-Symonds MP


Online book talk with Pam Cox in conversation with
Rt Hon Nick Thomas-Symonds MP Author of ‘Attlee: a life in politics’
Member of Parliament for Torfaen & Shadow Cabinet Office Minister
Anybody purchasing a ticket to the event will be given a £2 discount off the book.
The link below is to purchase a FULL PRICE, POSTED book.  If you would like the discount and/or to collect the book from Red Lion Books, please email us at

A biography of a key figure in British political life, now with a new foreword by Keir Starmer, providing a vivid portrait of the man and his politics. Clement Attlee – the man who created the welfare state and decolonised vast swathes of the British Empire, including India – has been acclaimed by many as Britain’s greatest twentieth-century Prime Minister. Yet somehow Attlee the man remains elusive.

How did such a moderate, modest man bring about so many enduring changes? What are the secrets of his leadership style? And how do his personal attributes account for both his spectacular successes and his apparent failures? When Attlee became Prime Minister in July 1945 he was the leader of a Labour party that had won a landslide victory. With almost 50 percent of the popular vote, Attlee seemed to have achieved the platform for Labour to dominate post-war British politics. Yet just 6 years and 3 months after the 1945 victory, and despite all Attlee’s governments had appeared to achieve, Labour was out of office, condemned to opposition for a further 13 years.

This presents one of the great paradoxes of twentieth-century British history: how Attlee’s government achieved so much, but lost power so quickly. But perhaps the greatest paradox was Attlee himself. Attlee’s obituary in “The Times” in 1967 stated that ‘much of what he did was memorable; very little that he said’.

This new biography, based on extensive research into Attlee’s papers and first-hand interviews, examines the myths that have arisen around this key figure of British political life, providing a vivid portrait of this man and his politics.

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Author: Nick Thomas-Symonds

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Format: Paperback

ISBN (EAN): 9780755636136

Date of Publication:


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