Aneurin Bevan: A Biography: Volume 2: 1945-1960

Aneurin Bevan: A Biography: Volume 2: 1945-1960

Language: English

Pages: 700

ISBN: 0571248373

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Michael Foot's biography of Nye Bevan is one of the great political biographies of the last century. Originally published in two volumes (1962 and 1973), Faber Finds is reissuing it in the same way. The first volume covers Bevan's life from his birth in 1897 to his entry into Atlee's Cabinet in 1945: the second covers his years from 1945 to his death in 1960. Nye Bevan, forever associated with the formation of the National Health Service, is arguably Britain's greatest socialist. This biography, written with passion and unashamed admiration, is a magnificent celebration of a great life.

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Tablets of stone for the benefit of Aaron and the others who might not otherwise be able to understand. True also he not merely despised the worship­pers of the golden calf but had more than his share of the rich man’s lofty unawareness of the mundane anxieties that afflict other people – this combined with a burning idealistic determination to do all in his power to banish poverty from the face of the earth. He could infuriate Bevan as much as the others but Bevan had appre­ciated long before.

Needed for nothing, and nothing must alter that.’8 Confronted with this hostility, he had to accept the strict tone of Cripps’s reference to the Service in his 1950 Budget statement in April: ‘We must now regard the period of initiation as passed so that there is no excuse for exceeding the estimates in the coming twelve months … Any expansion in part of the Service must be met by economies, or, if necessary, by contraction in others … Should present powers of control be insufficient, an Amending.

To the so-called ‘Suez rebels’ eager to show themselves more loyally imperialist than Churchill; the more it looked inevitable, the more the whole Tory Party hated the idea of withdrawal. Some Labour leaders, notably Shinwell and Morrison, felt the same about it; they desired, somewhat belatedly, to establish their pro-Israeli sentiment. And the situation was made the more galling by the knowledge that the certainty of eventual evacuation had been long since foretold with exasperating assurance.

Remains a member of the League, with the possi­bility to think over and correct his erroneous conceptions, especially with regard to the harmfulness of factionist activity. This is the most that could be done for him: to offer him the possibility to work within the League of Communists for the welfare of our Socialist community, and now everything depends exclusively on him. With kindest regards and best wishes to your wife and your­self. Yours very sincerely, PS. There is no obstacle.

Dozen other Right-wing polemicists took up the cry. He was the restless adventurer, the wanton destroyer of Party cohesion, a man scarcely in control of the demon within him. And yet at that very moment the world reflected the pattern which he described so much more imaginatively than the Morrisons, the Gaitskells and the Healeys. During that perilous summer ‘the war party’, as Mr Walter Lippmann called it, was at times in the ascendant in Washington and the world only escaped atomic calamity by,.

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