Great-grandson of a crofter and son-in-law of a Duke, Harold Macmillan (1894-1986) was both complex as a person and influential as a politican. Marked by terrible experiences in the trenches in the First World War and by his work as an MP during the Depression, he was a Tory rebel - an outspoken backbencher, opposing the economic policies of the 1930s and the appeasement policies of his own government.
Churchill gave him responsibility during the Second World War with executive command as 'Viceroy of the Mediterranean'. After the War, in opposition, Macmillan was one of the principal reformers of the Conservatives, and after 1951, back in government, served in several important posts before becoming Prime Minister after the Suez Crisis.
Supermac examines key events including the controversy over the Cossacks repatriation, the Suez Crisis, You've Never Had It So Good, the Winds of Change, the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Profumo Scandal. The culmination of thirty-five years of research into this period by one of our most respected historians, this book gives an unforgettable portrait of a turbulent age.
Shortlisted for the Orwell Prize.
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A spellbinding insight into the fascinating character of one of the most remarkable politicians of the twentieth century - Evening Standard
DR Thorpe is one of our finest historians, and this is one of his finest books: painstaking, detailed, but always readable. You come as close as you can to understanding Macmillan from these pages - Observer
This humane, elegantly writeen, exhaustively researched biography is the best yet of Macmillan, and indeed one of the best of any postwar prime minister - Guardian
Superb biography...Thorpe has three qualities that make him a first-rate biographer and they are all evident here. He is a phenomenal scholar and has left almost no primary source untapped for this book. He is the master of the anecdote, in which the book abounds and which as a result makes it a joy to read...But best of all, Thorpe writes beautifully... he understands that in writing the life of a politician, it is not all about politics - Daily Telegraph
Beautifully written biography...What the book shows...is that he was almost certainly the last prime minister worthy of our history as a great power - Spectator
Fine political biography - New Statesman, Christmas round up
A beautifully judged political biography, written with great flair and insight, and surely the last word on one of out most civilised, cunning and ambiguous prime ministers. - Daily Telegraph, Christmas round up
Supermac has found a superbiographer - Literary Review
Macmillan really walks and talks his stylish yet nervy way through these pages. - Daily Telegraph, Christmas round up
Gives a wonderful sense of Macmillan's complexity and stature - Spectator, Christmas round up
A spellbinding insight into the fascinating character of one of the most remarkable politicians of the 20th century. - Evening Standard, Christmas round up
A solidly buttressed biography that parallels his earlier works... Supermac is crammed full with interesting facts, germane and diverting by turns - TLS
Thorpe's superb biography leaves no primary source untapped, and bountiful anecdotes make this account of a truly three-dimensional character a joy to read. - Telegraph
Bringing together 35 years of research this biography of Harold Macmillan looks at both his personal and political achievements, conflicts, and events that defined his time. From Eton to prime minister, this is a compelling read. - Daily Express
He is an Aston Martin DB6 kind of writer, who is very English, very stately - The Browser
Scholarly, and thoroughly researched, Supermac should nevertheless appeal to the general reader through the accessibility of its proce and the assistance offered by placing events in historical context... Humane, benevolent, and considerable; much like its subject - BBC History Magazine
The best biography of a post-war British Prime Minister yet written. -
By this author
About the Author
D.R. Thorpe's work on the constitutional history and politics of the 20th century has made him one of Britain's most respected historians. He has written biographies of Alec Douglas-Home, Anthony Eden, Selwyn Lloyd, Austen Chamberlain, Lord Curzon and Lord Butler. Thorpe is a senior member of Brasenose College, Oxford, and has been a Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge, and of St Antony's College, Oxford.