Christopher Andrew

Decisions, Decisions

Six Moments of Crisis: Inside British Foreign Policy

By

Oxford University Press 223pp £20 order from our bookshop

After moving from Harvard to the US government, Henry Kissinger said, ‘As a professor, I tended to think of history as run by impersonal forces. But when you see it in practice, you see the differences personalities make.’ The same conclusion emerges from Gill Bennett’s masterly study of six moments of crisis in British foreign policy, from the Korean War to the Falklands War. In each crisis the personalities who mattered most were not officials and special advisers but ministers, and in particular the prime minister. The more serious the crisis the greater his or her influence.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Start your week with a dose of Russian Revolutionary zeal. Donald Rayfield reviews Tobie Mathew's 'Greetings From t… ,
    • A treat from the LR Archive: exactly 20 years ago, Malcolm Bradbury reviewed John Updike's 'Bech at Bay' ,
    • ‘When bullets come close, the noise they make as they go past changes from a zing to a crack’ John Lanchester's dy… ,
    • Man with a Bloody Paintbrush: Robin Simon on Lucian Freud ,
    • Jane Ridley reviews The Diaries of Kenneth Rose (ed. D R Thorpe) ,
    • ‘Look,’ says Trump. ‘The fact is I’m only human.’ On the evidence of this book that point is debatable. From the A… ,
    • From our December/January issue - here's John Banville's review of Colm Tóibín on the fathers of Wilde, Yeats and J… ,