Power Players: Ivor Crewe & Anthony Seldon
Ivor Crewe, Anthony Seldon
Chair: Sue MacGregor
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In-hall tickets are priced at £16.50
Who wants to be a Macmillan or Blair? 300 years after Robert Walpole became the first Prime Minister of the UK, the title of Anthony Seldon’s new book on the role The Impossible Office? sums up the challenges, while Ivor Crewe’s The Blunders of Our Governments shows that scandal, catastrophe and just plain incompetence are far from party political.
Downing Street historian Sir Anthony charts the humanity, frailty and achievements of the 55 individuals to have held the post, from Pitt to Johnson via Disraeli, Wilson, May and more, as well as the changing relationship with the monarchy and the country at large. Called “an astonishing achievement…a genuinely original book” by Andrew Marr, Master of Oxford’s University College Sir Ivor’s collaboration with Anthony King covers three decades of Westminster mishaps and explains why the British political system is quite so prone to appalling mistakes. A unique insight into how we are governed from two experts.
Sir Ivor Crewe is the former Master of University College, Oxford, and President of the UK Academy of Social Sciences. He has written extensively on elections, public opinion and party politics in the UK. His books include Decade of Dealignment (with Bo Sarlvik); SDP: The Birth, Life and Death of the Social Democratic Party (with Anthony King); and, most recently, with Anthony King, The Blunders of our Governments. He is currently working on a follow up.
Sir Anthony Seldon is the acknowledged national authority on all matters to do with Number 10 and Prime Ministers. His first book on a Prime Minister, Churchill's Indian Summer (1981) was published forty years ago, and since then he has written or edited many books, including the definitive insider accounts of the last five Prime Ministers. He is the honorary historian at Number 10 Downing Street, chair of the National Archive Trust, and has interviewed virtually all those who have worked in Number 10 in the last 50 years. Marking the third centenary of the office of Prime Minister, The Impossible Office explains how and why it has endured longer than any other democratic political office. Sir Anthony Seldon, historian of Number 10 Downing Street, explores the lives and careers of our great Prime Ministers, discussing which have been most effective and why.
Sue MacGregor was born in Oxford and brought up in South Africa. She joined the BBC first as a producer, then as one of the first women reporters on Radio 4’s The World at One. For fifteen years Sue presented Woman’s Hour, after which she co-hosted Today, BBC radio’s flagship early morning News and Current Affairs programme, for many years. She went on to front the popular book discussion programme, A Good Read, and the award-winning The Reunion, bringing back together, after many years, people involved in an important and sometimes historically significant event.