A vivid and expert biography of Lord Carrington, one of the outstanding politicians of the 20th century, who died on 9 July 2018.
"One of the country's greatest post-war statesmen" - Sir John Major
Carrington - An Honourable Man
by Christopher Lee
Viking | £25.00 | Hardback | 6 September 2018
Lord Carrington served as a minister in every Conservative government from Churchill to Thatcher – who said there was something innately reassuring walking into a room where Carrington stood. Most notably, he was Margaret Thatcher’s Foreign Secretary when the Argentinians invaded the Falklands in 1982. Absent in Israel on the eve of the invasion, he promptly resigned since it was, he said, a point of honour. He is seen by many today as the last of his breed in politics, an honourable man committed to public service.
He could be viewed as a typical Tory grandee, yet he disliked the Party, claiming late in his life that he was no longer a member, and could be fiercely independent. And there were recurring oddities in his career. He was forced to offer his resignation to Churchill for bad judgement over the Crichel Down Affair. As Navy Minister he was caught in the glare of a spy ring, and, though Defence
Secretary, kept out of the loop of the military operation which culminated in Bloody Sunday.
In this full biography, authorised but not read by the subject, Christopher Lee offers a fascinating portrait of a Tory icon whose career is a window into post-war British politics and life as a politician and diplomat.
Suggested talking points:
- The relationship between Foreign Secretaries and Prime Ministers
- The relationship between Carrington and Thatcher
- MPs’ resignations - are there still ‘honourable’ resignations
- Falklands War, and Carrington’s subsequent resignation
- The agreement over Rhodesia / Zimbabwe, and its impact on Carrington’s career
- Carrington’s wartime experiences – including his Military Cross at Arnhem
Christopher Lee began this book while Quatercentenary Research Fellow at Emmanuel College Cambridge where he also edited Winston Churchill's A History of the English-speaking Peoples and where he wrote his award-winning BBC Radio 4 history of Britain, This Sceptred Isle. He was previously Defence & Foreign Affairs Correspondent at the BBC, where he controlled Radio 4’s output on the Falklands War. Lee lives in Kent and aboard a restored sloop which he sails from the Beaulieu River.
Christopher Lee started the book twenty years ago and interviewed Carrington regularly. It was Carrington who requested that the book wasn’t published until after his death.
Others interviewed by Lee over the course of writing the book include Sir Edward Heath; Dr Henry Kissinger; Baroness Thatcher and Sir John Nott.
For more information about this book, please don't hesitate to get in touch.