Baron Healey of Riddlesden, formerly and better known as Denis Healey, was once described as ‘Great Britain’s most popular politician’. It is his affable nature, his decency, and his belief that there is more to life than politics that make this biography so engaging.
In addition, he possesses one of the most instantly recognisable voices in the country. In this splendid voice he tells us with disarming honesty about his childhood in Yorkshire, his time at Oxford University, the outbreak of war and his part in some of its fiercest battles in North Africa, Sicily and Anzio. He then details his career in Parliament, his position at the heart of both opposition and government, his time as Defence Secretary and most notably as Chancellor of the Exchequer in the turbulent 70s.
Above all, we hear about Denis Healey the family man; the support from his wife, Edna; and his love of the arts, from poetry and music to painting and photography.
This is an extraordinary man. His warmth and wit informed his life. Is there another Chancellor of the Exchequer who appeared on the Morcambe and Wise show and Saturday Live? The answer is no, and we won’t see his like again. He is now in his 90s.
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