Roy Jenkins: “Second-Class Mind”, Eagle Eye

Roy Jenkins: “Second-Class Mind”

One more thing from the last chapter of John Campbell’s wonderful biography of Roy Jenkins. My special interest in it is in its charting of Jenkins’ growing disenchantment with his protégé, which is entirely to Tony Blair’s credit.
I particularly enjoyed Campbell’s account of Jenkins’ description of Blair’s “second-class mind”.
Just because I could, I dug out [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 1 April 2014 at 4:53 pm

Yet More Joy of Footnotes, Eagle Eye

Yet More Joy of Footnotes

Another lovely footnote in John Campbell’s biography of Roy Jenkins. This time it is about Sir Menzies Campbell. Jenkins wanted him to take over as leader of the Liberal Democrats when Paddy Ashdown stood down in 1999, having long thought highly of him and “probably thinking Charles Kennedy was still too young”.
At this point the [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Monday, 31 March 2014 at 8:59 pm

In Praise of John Campbell III: More Joy of Footnotes, Eagle Eye

In Praise of John Campbell III: More Joy of Footnotes

At this rate I could blog about John Campbell’s biography of Roy Jenkins every day. Indeed, I could do a daily commentary just about the footnotes, a special interest of mine.
There is a lovely bit about Jenkins’ book about Gladstone, which was published in 1995. This is a play within a play: Jenkins’ biographer commenting [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Sunday, 30 March 2014 at 9:45 pm

In Praise of John Campbell, part II, Eagle Eye

In Praise of John Campbell, part II

One of the loveliest things about John Campbell’s style as a biographer is his use of footnotes. I have only dipped into his biography of Roy Jenkins (yesterday I got as far as the back cover), but immediately found this gem, on page 740. It is in the last chapter, about The Great Pooh-Bah’s* afterlife, [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 29 March 2014 at 6:24 pm

In praise of John Campbell, Eagle Eye

In praise of John Campbell

I was surprised, on turning over my copy of John Campbell’s authorised biography of Roy Jenkins, to discover my name on the back. The first quotation of “praise for The Iron Lady“, Campbell’s previous work, is:
“Anyone who wants to know what really happened between 1979 and 1990 should read this book.” John Rentoul, Daily Telegraph.
I remember [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Friday, 28 March 2014 at 9:23 pm

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