This is a curious book. The author, a friend of his subject’s for several decades, writes of Michael Foot occasionally as if he were dead. He isn’t, though in his ninety-fourth year it might be easier to make that mistake than at other times. The natural moments for the publication of such a book as this would be at the conclusion either of his political career – but that ended when Foot left the House of Commons fifteen years ago – or of his life. Since, at time of writing, the latter has still, happily, not occurred, one’s first question is: why now?
Kenneth O Morgan has a long list of books on Labour history and statesmen to his credit: the best known is probably his life of Foot’s predecessor as Labour leader, Jim Callaghan. That he knows his subject – not just in the narrow sense of his knowledge of Foot himself