TestMarket - Limited-Time Promo: Who's In, Who's Out: The Journals of Kenneth Rose: Volume One 1944-1979 - 23% Off

Limited-Time Promo: Who's In, Who's Out: The Journals of Kenneth Rose: Volume One 1944-1979 - 23% Off

Date:
Jan 14, 2024 06:19 pm
Limited-Time Promo: Who's In, Who's Out: The Journals of Kenneth Rose: Volume One 1944-1979 - 23% Off
Category: Britain
Seller Name: Sell Books ✅
Rating: 4.30
Total Rating Count: 254
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Title: A wonderful way to pass winter days.
Content: I found this a most enjoyable book. It’s well and imaginatively edited and rattles along with hardly a dull moment. Kenneth Rose was a remarkable man who seemed able to combine a fairly cold eye for faults and weaknesses with an ability to get on with pretty well everyone he met. It’s a book that, for me at least, cannot be read with every word taken on; it is something that can be skimmed; that can be galloped through but it will bear re-reading. I can happily recommend to both the general reader and to those who are interested in the period after the war and up to the 1979 Conservative Government.
Rating:
Title: Very good
Content: This first of two volumes of the diaries of the biographer and columnist Kenneth Rose is a very enjoyable read if you are interested in the social and political history of the governance of England between the end of WW2 and Mrs Thatcher's coming to power Rose mentions the diaries of both Chips Channon and James Lees-Milne, which are better known diaries from at least some of this period. However, Rose's diary is rather different from those – much less about himself (although his kindness and somewhat delicate character come out) and much more about the people he is talking about. His opinion of those other two diarists is not high – at one point he describes Channon as 'stupid' although he does allow that the diaries (then available only in the expurgated form - I wonder what he would have made of the more recent full version) give a good insight into society; as for Lees-Milne, he is beyond the pale. The best part of Rose's work is probably the many funny stories about famous people he retells. This is a very funny book. It also is a useful corrective for the reputation of some people now regarded in a somewhat negative light. Selwyn Lloyd is an example of this and rather differently, Jeremy Thorpe. Rose knew some of the royal family well, others less so. He is a sympathetic writer about them but not an uncritical one. This is also a very depressing book in a way, because it shows that there are so many people in positions of power through their education and social status rather than ability. This applies almost as much to the left wing as the right. Although in general well edited, the volume has curious footnotes. Sometimes basic information on the same person is repeated in another footnote further on; and some of the footnotes do not adequately explain context for readers with less knowledge of the times. It is also irritating that the footnotes have symbols rather than numbers, so that you have to look carefully to find the right one.
Rating:
Title: A truly important reference work
Content: This is essential reading for any student of politics and society in the second half of the twentieth century, with many fascinating insights. As has been noted elsewhere, Kenneth Rose "loved a lord" and what was then known as the ruling class; this, though, should not put the serious reader off - in a way, it adds a cultural insight into how Britain then functioned. I met Kenneth Rose on many occasions - my late father was a close contemporary and friend - and can attest to his great charm and kindness. I much look forward to the second volume.
Rating:
Title: Excellent English prose
Content: Marvellous diaries, I have always loved the James Lees-Milne diaries, these are much more politically based but still very easy to read and a very high standard of writing. Really takes you behind the scenes of the governments of the day, plus public schools and several public figures. Not gossipy unlike Lees-Milne but still very readable.
Rating:
Title: The Diary of a Nobody.
Content: Interminable twaddle for the most part, are you obsessed with who might or might not be the next Headmaster or House Master at Eton? Then this is the diary for you. If not then you've got an awful lot of waffle to wade through to find some gleaming politically sensitive nugget. Even now it appears that you have to know your way round London's Gentlemen's Clubs (not the same as those found in Las Vegas) if you are to truly understand - or actually care - how Britain is run. Who are/were all these people? Government Ministers that no-one had heard of at the time and for the most part now sunk into welcome obscurity, assorted political windbags of no importance. E.G John Stonehouse then very much a coming man, turned into a fraudster/fantasist in later life. Unknown to todays readership I would think. In fairness he is only mentioned once - but you get the drift. One can hardly criticise the overall pointlessness, Pooterish quality of these supposedly witty diaries, at one time (80 or 90 years ago) trivia about the UK ruling class would have justifiably had a wider historical interest, but no more. The endless twittering about who is being considered for what in Eton - as though that were actually of any genuine importance gets on my wick. We all supposed to be grateful because he liked Harold Wilson, knew Tony Benn from Oxford and heard that people didn't like Richard Crossman. All of them Labour politicians and he such a dedicated Tory, writing for the Telegraph, a friend of the Queen Mother and so forth. How open minded he was. Lord alive.
Rating:
Title: The man who knew everyone.....at least the important ones!
Content: This book gives a fascinating insight into the "establishment" and throws considerable light on many of the most critical events of the era...Suez,the Profumo affair,Royal matters and reveals much about the inner workings of Government. For those interested in such matters this book is essential reading.
Rating:
Title: A wonderful way to pass winter days.
Content: I found this a most enjoyable book. It’s well and imaginatively edited and rattles along with hardly a dull moment. Kenneth Rose was a remarkable man who seemed able to combine a fairly cold eye for faults and weaknesses with an ability to get on with pretty well everyone he met. It’s a book that, for me at least, cannot be read with every word taken on; it is something that can be skimmed; that can be galloped through but it will bear re-reading. I can happily recommend to both the general reader and to those who are interested in the period after the war and up to the 1979 Conservative Government.
Rating:

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