Citizen Clem: A Biography of Attlee

Citizen Clem A Biography of Attlee Clement Attlee was a slightly built bald pipe smoking and unassuming man who presided over the radical administration of and is sometimes referred to as Britain s greatest peace time Prime M

  • Title: Citizen Clem: A Biography of Attlee
  • Author: John Bew
  • ISBN: 9781780879895
  • Page: 338
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Clement Attlee was a slightly built, bald, pipe smoking and unassuming man who presided over the radical administration of 1945 51 and is sometimes referred to as Britain s greatest peace time Prime Minster.His cocooned suburban childhood and standing at university as the man who couldn t quite were unlikely preparations for such a figure Yet Attlee was often underestimClement Attlee was a slightly built, bald, pipe smoking and unassuming man who presided over the radical administration of 1945 51 and is sometimes referred to as Britain s greatest peace time Prime Minster.His cocooned suburban childhood and standing at university as the man who couldn t quite were unlikely preparations for such a figure Yet Attlee was often underestimated he won over those who compared him unfavourably to his rival, Churchill, and undercut their doubt with dry wit and proof of his steady and ethical leadership His political awakening volunteering in the East End of London was instrumental in redrawing his map of Britain s class and economic system Growing up in the comfortable coda of the Victorian era, he foresaw an epoch of change one that he was pivotal to bring about in the post war years After serving at Gallipoli during the First Word War he rose through the ranks of the Labour Party and during the Second World War became Britain s first Deputy Prime Minister In 1945, in the glow of Churchill s great war victory, Attlee won the election by a landslide Alongside Bevin, Nye and Truman, his governance saw the end of the Empire in India, the foundation of the NHS and Britain s places in NATO and the nuclear arms race John Bew s brilliant biography will pierce the reticence of Attlee and explore the intellectual foundations and core beliefs of one of the most important, and least understood, figures in the history of the United Kingdom It will reveal a public servant and patriotic socialist, who never lost sight of the national interest and whose view of humanity and belief in solidarity was grafted onto the Union Jack.

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    • Õ Citizen Clem: A Biography of Attlee || Þ PDF Read by ↠ John Bew
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    One thought on “Citizen Clem: A Biography of Attlee”

    1. Citizen Clem – The Sheep that Roared Clement Attlee over the years, not only since his death in 1967, but also throughout his life time has been underappreciated, even by his own biographers, who either damned him with faint praise, or attacked his record, or the person ‘a sheep in sheep’s clothing’. The Labour Party itself has always had an ambiguous relationship with Attlee, despite the great electoral and legislative successes he presided over. Frank Field MP rightly stated in 2009 th [...]

    2. "Few thought he was even a starter.There were many in life who were smarter.But he finished PM,A CH, an OM,An earl and a Knight of the Garter."Clement Attlee's autobiographical limerick summarizes well the course of his remarkable political career. From his early years as a social worker in London's East End and his service in the First World War he entered the House of Commons, where he rose steadily until the fracturing of Labour Party with the formation of the National government in 1931 and [...]

    3. A recent poll of academics identified Clement Attlee as Britain's best Prime Minister since 1900. Reading John Bew's autobiography, it's easy to understand why. This book, however, looks at Clem's career, warts and all. Like the rest of us his faults were numerous and a plethora of charisma was certainly not something you'd level at him.Attlee came from a privileged background; public school and Cambridge educated but, as a young man, relocated to one of East London's poorest districts and soon [...]

    4. Fantastic, well-research autobiography on Clement Attlee. I bought this book in September 2017, a few months after Labour's third consecutive election loss. Corbyn's Labour gained over 40% of the popular vote, they gained seats across the country, yet were still the main opposition in government. Far from being wiped out, the party was re-energised by populist socialist ideals. Ideals that have echoes of a time when Clement Attlee was in power.Attlee was Deputy PM during the war, and led Labour [...]

    5. John Bew has written a very entertaining book about the life and contribution of Clement Atlee to the service of the British people. I already knew about Atlee’s leadership of the 1945 Labour government which achieved so much that we have to be grateful for such as the NHS and the modern welfare state, improved housing and education. However, by reading John Bew’s book I also learned about Atlee the social worker in London’s East End, Major Atlee the war hero of the first world war, three [...]

    6. An excellent biography of someone even those of us on the left in politics know far too little about. This is very detailed but always readable. Bew is not uncritical but strives to be fair, and Attlee comes out of it as one of the most decent politicians of his age. One can't help but consider him in the light of contemporary events.

    7. This prize-winning biography achieves the challenging task of marshalling a mountain of research into an absorbing analytical account of the man who presided over the first majority Labour government in the UK. Criticised, like the Blair period, for failing to seize the opportunity for radical change, Attlee’s pragmatic approach in fact changed a good deal: introduction of the NHS together with national insurance and welfare systems, the more controversial nationalisation of essential industri [...]

    8. A worthy winner of the 2017 Orwell Prize for political writing, "Citizen Clem" is a brisk and highly readable account of the man who remains the greatest leader the Labour Party has ever had, and who Bew argues (successfully in my view) has been misunderstood and underappreciated, not least by the intellectual left of the Labour movement, to whom the author, like his subject, gives short shrift.Bew makes the case that it was the qualities for which others in British politics held him in disdain [...]

    9. Citizen Clem by John Bew is a cradle to grave biography of Clement Attlee, prime minster of the UK from 1945-51. The length that it dedicates to each portion of his life is more proportional to the length of time rather than the magnitude of importance. For instance, in many biographies the portion of being prime minister would take up the majority of the book but that is not the case here. Instead, equal weight is given to his time before entering parliament and his conversion to socialism, his [...]

    10. It's weird, every so often you read a book and wonder what people ever saw in it. Part of me wonders if this was one of those books, which follows the life of the first truely successful British Labour Party leader, Clement Attlee, as the party moves from a fringe party repesenting a certain type of work-class community to being the party of government after World War II.There are a number of things that strike me about this book. One is how similar the sort of backgrounds Attlee, and the other [...]

    11. Clement Attlee was a man whose life was shaped by world events dwarfing those of our own time, World Wars 1 and 2 and their aftermath, the Russian Revolution and the Great Depression. And, in his own quiet, methodical way, he also helped shaped them. Shy, privately-schooled, cricket-loving, he put himself into the public eye to fulfil a Victorian sense of patriotism and selfless public duty which seem foreign today. His mission all began by living and working in London's hard up East End. He was [...]

    12. John Bew has researched his subject in impressive detail, and the book is clearly knowledgeable and authoritative. However, the price of the depth is the telling of the story. The narrative gets lost in the detail, especially in the first 200 pages, dealing with the 20s and 30s. Once we reach the outbreak of war, where the narrative is well known, the book takes off. We know the personalities and the background events well, an the detail illuminates a facet of history that is rarely told. Attlee [...]

    13. "An empty taxi pulled up outside Downing Street and Mr. Attlee got out "."A modest man with much to be modest about "."A sheep in sheep's clothing ".These are just some of the many disparaging quotes about Clement Attlee and yet, in recent years, there has been many re-evaluations of him, this biography being the most thorough and persuasive. It is fascinating on his early career and his participation in the First World War. Whilst his major achievements will always be the welfare state legislat [...]

    14. A marvellous biography of a much underrated man. Atlee was born into money, and was a conservative imperialist when young, but after the First World War when to work with the poor in the East End of London, and became radicalised. This book covers all the main events in his life-the trauma of the betrayal of the Labour Party by Macdonald, the wartime work with Churchill, and finally in government in 1945 as prime minister. He met most of the world leaders, and made great changes for his country- [...]

    15. For anyone interested in the practical implementation of Left ideology, modern history, or politics, this is a must read. Clement Attlee is an example of a lifetime dedicated to social and economic justice. He, through years of steady work, consensus building, and untouchable integrity, built national healthcare in the U.K ended the British Empire, and created the modern welfare state. And did this all quietly, without ever building a real power base or anything even close to the cults of person [...]

    16. A very accessible biography of Clement Attlee, under whose prime ministership the welfare state was set up. It shows both his weaknesses and strengths. As it is very much a 'pro-' biography, it does mean that certain aspects are glossed over, eg, his support for Empire in some areas, while his support for, eg, Indian independence is played up. The biography has excellent context in the sense of describing Attlee's family background and times, and his place in the events of the 20th century.Oddly [...]

    17. Clem Attlee was a remarkable leader of the Labour Party. It is his lack of any memorable charisma and lack of his own philosophy that makes his achievements stand out. John Bew has written a thoroughly entertaining book and one that prises open the closed, mental world of Clem Attlee. He was never one to be revered yet led the party for 20 years and was Churchill's right-hand man during WWII. Attlee hated communism and, for many years, revered William Morris but later rejected the pure Jerusalem [...]

    18. Utterly brilliant! The story of Attlee is the story of the Labour movement in this country, and John Bew does the job superbly, painting a deeply human portrait of this consummate politician. One thing I can definitely say after reading this, Jem is no Clem. There are many who like to make comparisons between Labour leaders, but this book clearly shows that Attlee and Corbyn, both great and principled leaders, are cut from very different cloth.

    19. This book was suggested to me after I took a course in Winston Churchill. This is the man who replaced him as Prime Minister after the war. He accomplished many Labour Party objectives during his time as PM. The book offers a sympathetic portrait of a highly moral man who had worked as a social worker before going into politics and who knew the condition of the "underclasses" in British society. The subtitle tells the story.

    20. Absolutely superb. What a book, what a man. If only he was around today. Despite the end of lend lease, a bankrupt country, food shortages, Palastine, India, being undermined by his own colleagues, Attlee still managed to set up the NHS and the welfare state. Theresa May take note. Brexit doesn't have to stop everything else.

    21. A very good read - the ultimate challenge for a biographer - clealry a man of great importance who had little charisma. Bew does the job of showing how much he shaped events and Britain today - WW2, NHS, Social insurance, the end of empire. Attlee was the best of British - patriotic, modest, and utterly determined.

    22. A modern biography of one of Britain’s greatest prime ministers, outlining his life and career and drawing parallels with modern political life. Well researched and well written, making for an interesting read.

    23. Not the greatest political biography ever, but I think New sells Clement Attlee really well. I find the smaller lesser known parts of Attlee's life more engaging than his actions over the world stage.

    24. A superb and highly readable biography. Bew treats his subject thoroughly in a way that makes it both intellectually rigorous but also highly accessible to the lay reader. Greatly enjoyed it.

    25. A lesson for today?As the Labour party slips further from power the basic understanding of what we, the public, want from a leader is critical. John Bew's wonderful book gives us that insight. Clem Attlee would have been as horrified and depressed as Jeremy Corbyn on homeless rough sleepers at Xmas but it is impossible to imagine this as a principle priority in an Attlee led party. The wider vision of community with responsibilities as well as rights is absolutely central. The current weakness o [...]

    26. This was good, really good. Attlee makes for a fascinating, if elusive, subject, not least because he seemed so remarkably free of ego. Bew does a great job in cataloging Attlee's rise and political career. A few quibbles. At times it reads more like a re-telling of key events, with a focus on Attlee, rather than a clear interrogation of Attlee's acts and life. The final chapter was good, and a clear effort to describe the enigmatic Attlee, but still I think Bew is chasing at ghosts a little. Th [...]

    27. Brilliant. The best biography I've read. Superbly written. I particularly liked the inclusion of what Attlee was reading. I knew next to nothing about him before. Now I want to read more about him and Morris and Bellamy and Kipling. What a wonderful man. And Violet. Brilliant.

    28. One of the finest political biographies I've read for a long time. A beautifully written account not only of the man, but of the period in which he lived, and changed.

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