John Biffen

Semi-Detached

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Immensely respected on both sides of the House, John Biffen was a man of charm, wisdom and intelligence. Celebrated as one of the cleverest and nicest politicians around, he brought to the Conservative benches one of the most original economic minds of his generation. Biffen served as Chief Secretary to the Treasury and Secretary of State for Trade, but it was as Leader of the House of Commons that he really made his mark. Over time, he found himself increasingly at odds with the divisive nature and style of Margaret Thatcher's government. Thatcher was unreceptive and he was slowly frozen out. In sacking Biffen from her Cabinet, she lost one of the more human faces of her government. With its candid account of the subject's battle with depression, this fascinating autobiography, with extensive extracts from his unpublished diaries, is a portrait of great humanity and determination set against the backdrop of public life. Semi-Detached revisits dramatic and poignant moments from Biffen's personal life and from the corridors of power, presenting a moving and penetrating portrayal of one of the twentieth century's most remarkable politicians.
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511 printed pages
Original publication
2013

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