White Heat by Dominic Sandbrook - review by Roy Hattersley

Roy Hattersley

‘They Never Swung For Me’

White Heat


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White Heat is not short of detail. Examining the qualities which made outsider Edward Heath win the race for the Tory Party leadership, Dominic Sandbrook reveals that four different newspapers used the word ‘obsessive’ to describe him, and called him ‘tough’; Sandbrook is as eclectic in his choice of subject as he is meticulous in providing every fact about that controversial decade that even the most demanding reader could possibly desire. When ‘Twiggy’ (or Lesley Hornby as she then was) left school, ‘she weighed just six and a half stones, her shoe size was four and her dress size was six and her bust, waist and hip measurements were 30, 22 and 32 respectively.’

Inevitably, White Heat will be judged on the quality of its treatment of political history. All such books are. At first I feared that I found the narrative uninspired because I had lived through the whole decade – cringed at George Brown’s television broadcast on the night of President Kennedy’s

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