The Macmillan Diaries: The Cabinet Years, 1950-1957 by Peter Catterall (ed) - review by Simon Heffer

Simon Heffer

The Return of Supermac

The Macmillan Diaries: The Cabinet Years, 1950-1957


Macmillan 528pp £25 order from our bookshop

I KEEP THINKING it is time someone really turned over 'the posthumous reputation of Harold Macmillan, but when books like this appear by his own hand I realise that such an exercise is hardly necessary. Macmillan already has his own monument in the six self-regarding, pompous and fraudulent volumes of memoirs he published in the decade after his resignation from the prime ministership in 1963. There is also Alistair Horne's painstaking and serious two-volume official biography from the late 1980s, written before all the papers from the period of his highest office were available. But in these diaries, we see what a truly ghastly, deceitfd and nasty old man 'Supermac' really was.

Macmillan's war diaries were published some years ago. This volume runs fiom the summer of 1950, when the author was in the shadow Cabinet, to a lone entry hm February 1957, a month after he succeeded Anthony Eden in Downing Street, in wh~ch he describes his first weeks in office.

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