Paul Addison

After Eden

Supermac: The Life of Harold Macmillan

By

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Nineteen sixty-three was a calamitous year for Harold Macmillan. First, General de Gaulle pulled the rug from under him by vetoing British entry into Europe. Then the Profumo affair turned him – with an extra twist of the knife from the satirists of Private Eye – into a laughing stock. In October, with the Conservative party on the brink of mutiny, he fell ill and resigned. One of the few to offer words of encouragement was the novelist C P Snow. ‘Prime Ministers’, he wrote to Macmillan, ‘survive in history according to whether their intelligent contemporaries find them psychologically interesting. You are the only Prime Minister for a long time, Churchill excepted, who has evoked any such interest.’

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