Statesman, pre-eminent leader and founder of the free world’s then largest and most formidable trade union, Ernest Bevin was one of the most rousing figures of the twentieth century. Minister of Labour in the wartime coalition during the Second World War, he was Churchill’s right-hand man, masterminding the home front while the war supremo commanded the battle front. Afterwards, he was Foreign Secretary at one of the most critical moments in international history, responsible for keeping Stalin and communism out of Western Europe, and for creating West Germany, NATO and the transatlantic alliance, all of which underpin European democracy and security to this day.
An orphan farm boy from Bristol, Bevin’s astonishing rise to fame and power is unmatched by any leader to this day. In this discerning and wide-ranging biography, Andrew Adonis examines how ‘the working-class John Bull’ grew to a position of such authority, and offers a critical reassessment of his life and influence. Finally exploring Bevin’s powerful legacy and lessons for our own age, Adonis restores this charismatic statesman to his rightful place among the pantheon of Britain’s greatest political leaders.
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