Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Best Read Political Party ?

Every summer the Conservative foreign affairs spokesman Keith Simpson sends his colleagues a suggested reading list for the Parliamentary recess, this is this year's list.....

The Junior Officers' Reading Club: Killing Time and Fighting Wars by Patrick Hennessey
A View from the Foothills by Chris Mullin
Alan Clark: the biography by Ion Trewin (published mid-September)
Pistols at Dawn: Two Hundred years of Political Rivalry from Pitt and Fox to Blair and Brown by John Campbell
Electing Our Masters: The Hustings in British Politics from Hogarth to Blair by Jon Lawrence
Whitehall: The Street that Shaped a Nation by Colin Brown
Neville Chamberlain by Nick Smart (published August)
Attlee's Great Contemporaries: The Politics of Character by Frank Field
Harold Macmillan by Charles Williams
Finest Years: Churchill as Warlord 1940-1945 by Max Hastings (published September)
D-Day by Antony Beevor
Blood Victory: The Sacrifice of the Somme and the Making of the Twentieth Century by William Philpott
Democracy: 1000 Years in Pursuit of British Liberty by Peter Kellner
The New British Constitution by Vernon Bogdanor
The Life and Death of Democracy by John Keane
Democracy Goes to War: British Military Deployments under International Law by Nigel D White
Lords of Finance: 1929, The Great Depression - and the Bankers Who Broke the World by Liaquat Ahamad
Keynes: The Return of the Master by Robert Skidelsky
The Spectre at the Feast: Capitalist Crisis and the Politics of Recession by Andrew Gamble
Restoring Financial Stability: How to Repair a Failed System by Viral V. Acharya and Matthew Richardson (eds)
Europe's Tragedy: A History of the Thirty years War by Peter H. White
Poland: A History by Adam Zamoyski
The Generalissimo: Chiang Kai-shek and the Struggle for Modern China by Jay Taylor
The Terrorist Hunters by Andy Hayman (currently withdrawn for legal reasons)
Terrorism: How to Respond by Richard English
The Defence of the Realm: The Official History of MI5 by Christopher Andrew (published October)
The Pathans by Sir Olaf Caroe

The summer recess, or holiday to you and me, runs from July 21st until October 12th, so perhaps if you spent hours a day, every day, doing nothing but reading you might just get through that list. I rather suspect that a lot of books on the list have many hundreds of pages with a very small font.

For the record, I have read exactly one of Tories summer literacy list.

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