Download E-books Aneurin Bevan: A Biography: Volume 1: 1897-1945 PDF

By Michael Foot

Michael Foot's two-volume biography of Aneurin 'Nye' Bevan (1897-1960) - arguably Britain's maximum socialist, indelibly linked to the founding of the nationwide well-being provider, - is likely one of the significant political biographies of the final century. it's the lifetime of an inspirational baby-kisser, written by means of one that knew and unabashedly in demand him.

Volume I, first released in 1962, describes Bevan's existence from his start in Tredegar within the South Wales Valleys, via his abortive education, his employment at a colliery and the following include of socialism that might make him a pacesetter between South Wales miners. It follows his route to the home of Commons as a Labour MP with a fast-rising popularity as a defender of the operating classification; and his marriage in 1934 to fellow firebrand MP Jennie Lee. the quantity closes with Labour's landslide election victory of 1945, and Bevan's appointment as Minister of Health.

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Once they first met within the 1929 Parliament, Jennie was once now not inspired. She shuddered at his black swimsuit and striped trousers, what she took to be the uniform of a Welsh nonconformist parson or an imitation stockbroker. ‘Quite quickly afterwards,’ says Jennie, ‘I learnt that not anything might have been so thoroughly out of personality. His mom, with the aid of the neighborhood Co-op tailor, had concocted an outfit deemed compatible for an M. P. Nye with joyful indifference had not often spotted. His head was once within the clouds. He used to be absorbed with different issues. ’ yet, as well as the frustrations they continued below the MacDonald régime, they'd a lot else in universal – the miner’s domestic, the adolescence of fight, the thoughts of 1926 and 1927, entry to an identical books, a similar wealthy history of working-class satisfaction and dignity. ‘We will be brother and sister,’ acknowledged Jennie the 1st time they honestly talked jointly. ‘Aye,’ responded Nye with an appraising, mischievous grin, ‘but with a bent to incest. ’ whilst all of the different obstacles to the engagement were damaged down, Jennie nonetheless imposed one ultimate situation. He needs to do away with the purple-brown overcoat that she rather detested. an afternoon or later he bounded up the steps of her Guilford road flat with a new one in every of the exact same color and elegance because the previous. He had thoroughly neglected the purpose. Jennie gasped, laughed, yet on the grounds that he appeared so happy with himself – and her – had adequate experience simply to say that the coat used to be nice. All else have been agreed, and his proposal of marriage accorded with hers. ‘The most sensible approach to preserve a bull in a box is to take the fence down,’ he may quip. to flee from the entire fuss, they went on a visit to Spain; ‘we have been either as approximately carefree because the situations of our lives had ever allowed us to be. ’ Jennie Lee’s personal description can't be bettered: ‘If you reside such a lot of your years,’ she writes, ‘in a Scottish or Welsh colliery district, then sooner or later end up breakfasting outside in January (in January, mark you) with orange groves round you, the Sierra Nevada at the skyline and an excellent blue-green sea at your ft, you rediscover your entire childhood’s religion in miracles. Aneurin, who while he's between Englishmen continuously turns out to me an alien determine – he's a lot too unequivocally alive to fit staid English methods – appeared totally at domestic in Andalusia. He enjoyed all of it. The vibrant colouring, the scent and flavour of where, the heat, the darkish, proud-spirited humans … It used to be an excellent lark the day Aneurin obtained himself an impressive Spanish cloak, a sombrero, a scarlet facha to wind around his waist, and since we had dared him to do it, went swaggering dressed like this alongside the winding village highway that leads right down to the ocean … i'm certain these Andalusian peasants notion we have been particularly mad. yet i'm additionally convinced they relied on us. ’4 The feel of that belief used to be to have huge political effects. again domestic, they lived for it slow in Jennie Lee’s flat in Guilford road. yet Nye dreamed of escaping from the smoke and rattle of the London he had consistently loathed.

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