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An English Affair: Sex, Class and Power in the Age of Profumo [Format Kindle]

Richard Davenport-Hines
4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)

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Descriptions du produit

Présentation de l'éditeur

WINNER OF THE POLITICAL BOOK AWARDS POLITICAL HISTORY BOOK OF THE YEAR 2014.

Published to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of the Profumo scandal, An English Affair is a sharp-focused snapshot of a nation on the brink of social revolution.

Britain in 1963 – Harold Macmillan was the Prime Minister of a Conservative government, dedicated to tradition, hierarchy and, above all, old-fashioned morality. But a breakdown of social boundaries saw nightclub hostesses mixing with aristocrats, and middle-class professionals dabbling in criminality. Meanwhile, Cold War paranoia gripped the public imagination.

The Profumo Affair was a perfect storm, and when it broke it rocked the Establishment. In ‘An English Affair’, the author of the critically-acclaimed ‘Titainic Lives’ Richard Davenport-Hines brings Swinging London to life. The cast of players includes the familiar – louche doctor Stephen Ward, good-time girls Christine Keeler and Mandy Rice-Davies, and Secretary for War John Profumo himself. But we also encounter the tabloid hacks, property developers and hangers-on whose roles have, until now, never been fully revealed.

Sex, drugs, class, race, chequebook journalism and the criminal underworld – the Profumo Affair had it all. This is the story of how Sixties England cast off respectability and fell in love with scandal.


Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 1792 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 416 pages
  • Editeur : HarperPress (17 décembre 2012)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B008NZF982
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Activé
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°121.365 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Commentaires client les plus utiles
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Travail exceptionel sur la période 4 novembre 2013
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Je pensais tout savoir sur cette histoire. J'avais tort et pourtant je l'ai vécu de près comme jounaliste à la BBC.
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Amazon.com: 4.0 étoiles sur 5  31 commentaires
16 internautes sur 16 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 An English Affair 19 décembre 2012
Par S Riaz - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle
Although I was born after 'The Profumo Affair' I have vague images of the characters involved and what happened, but knew very little detail. This wonderfully written book certainly filled any gaps in my knowledge, presenting a detailed and fascinating account of who was involved, what happened and painting a picture of an era when London was poised on the brink of change. Davenport-Hines (whose previous book Titanic Lives: Migrants and Millionaires, Conmen and Crew I enjoyed very much) divides this work into 'Cast' and 'Drama'. Indeed, the whole sorry affair reads something like a stage play, with a ruling class who felt they could do much as they liked, and a new group of men coming up behind them who did not subscribe to their unwritten public school ethos and revelled in making money.

Here, then, we are introduced to the people behind the names. John Profumo, the War Minister, who was married to film star Valerie Hobson. From the outside viewed as a golden couple, it was plain that Profumo had a roving eye from the earliest days of his marriage. Indeed, almost everyone we meet is affected by marital problems. From PM Harold Macmillan, whose wife Dorothy famously had a long running affair with Bob Boothby, to Bill Astor, who was on his third marriage by the time of the scandal which rocked London. The author cleverly unveils his cast, including osteopath Stephen Ward, whose list of rich and eminent patients included Churchill, Eden, Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra and Paul Getty, to Yevgeny Ivanov, whom he was introduced to at the Garrick Club, the 'Good Time Girls' Christine Keeler and Mandy Rice-Davies, the new generation of property developers such as Charles Clore and Perec Rachman, the 'Hacks' and the 'Spies'. He intertwines these cast of characters, showing how the morals of the day affected events. Indeed, the subtitle "Sex, Class and Power in the Age of Profumo" is an excellent one - as we are taken on fascinating digressions, from newspaper articles (serious then, hilarious now!) on how women should go about achieving marriage to attitudes on women automatically giving up, sometimes excellent careers, for the often tedious 'trap' that marriage and motherhood could become. This scene setting is important - not until you read how a jury (all male) at the time saw the brutal murder of a young wife who 'belittled' him, can you truly understand the way women were viewed at this time.

Having brilliantly set his scene, the author then takes us through the actual 'Drama' of what happened, the scandal and the aftermath. Macmillan's secretary thought the 'Profumo Affair' did the PM more harm than anything in the whole of his administration. In a country which was heavily divided, where women were viewed as seducers and men unable to resist their charms, scandal broke. It is hard to overestimate how much the scandal affected everyone involved, as the press had a field day and people pored over the salicious details which greeted them every day in the newspapers. This is an excellent account of a time and a event which is still in the public consciousness. Who doesn't know the names of Profumo and Keeler and have some image of who, and what, they were? Well, this book may change your views, but I doubt you will find a better account of what happened anywhere. Thoroughly enjoyable, highly readable and well researched, this would make a fantastic book group read, with much to discuss and I recommend it highly. Lastly, I read the kindle version of this book and the illustrations were included.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Fascinating 10 février 2013
Par Christopher L. Gilbert - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Davenport-Hines locates the Profumo affair against the background of a hypocritical old school establishment confronting the social and sexual revolution which began in the mid 1960s. The "scandal" was largely manufactured by the popular press. Its victims, Profumo, Ward, Keeler and Rice-Davis, were pawns in the bigger game between the press barons, aided and abetted now as then by unscrupulous journalists, and the Macmillan government. Macmillan behaved honourably, the Labour opposition less so. Strongly recommended..
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Highly Informative and relevant today. 2 octobre 2013
Par John L. Warden - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Very full of new (to me) facts. Paints a sorry picture of Scotland Yard and an even sorrier one of Harold Wilson and most of the English press. Confirms my view that the Profumo affair was much ado about nothing, and is a helpful reminder of the influence of the hard Left in British politics.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Fascinating although a bit scattered 12 janvier 2014
Par Eric Redman - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
First, what this is not: It is not an account of the Profumo Affair specifically. What it is: An often remarkable overview of British society, politics, morality, law enforcement, real estate development, the media, and various forms of hypocrisy and outright mendacity, at a turning-point moment in post-War time. In particular it is interesting to learn that in fastening on Profumo as a means to bring down the Macmillan government (and boost circulation), the news media hostile to Macmillan -- actively encouraged by Harold Wilson and other Labour Party leaders -- ended up changing forever the boundaries between the private behavior of public officials and public exposure (and before this occurred in the U.S.).

One of the book's strengths (which some may consider a weakness) is that the author expresses strong opinions about key individuals, mostly condemnatory, and he does so bluntly -- but he also supports his judgments with facts and persuasive argument. This isn't quite what one would expect in most histories, but in this sometimes unclearly organized volume it is one of the things that makes it most memorable.

To me, the most powerful Profumo-related work remains David Profumo's "Bringing the House Down." These two works hardly overlap, and the novelist's prose (i.e., David Profumo's) is better than the journalist's. But each enhances the other.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A part of the Social History of England 10 février 2013
Par Amazon Customer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
I was sixteen in 1963 and yet we here in Sri Lanka were salaciously interested in Christene Keeler and Rice Davis and their doings. I had only the vaguest idea of what happened and Mr. Davis has cleared up much of my curiosity. As a lawyer myself, Lord Denning was almost the holy grail of legal learning and it was surprising for me to find out that he too was just another man carried away by emotion and the thinking of the times. A time when homosexuality was still considered a crime, when society was built upon class lines and how injustice does percolate through all of history. Despite the fact that the book is long and goes through much that seems unimportant to the story, I read it through without feeling tired for a moment. It shows how some peccadillo can ruin a man and how Mr. Profumo was able to overcome it and come out a respectable man. Even though his suggestion to the Guinness heiress shows that the old leopard had not changed his spots. A good read, especially to persons of my age.
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