Current Affairs & Business

Northbank authors feature in ‘best politics books of 2021’ round-ups


Congratulations to Northbank authors Alan Duncan, Anthony Seldon and Gavin Barwell whose books are included in several ‘best politics books of 2021’ round-ups in the national press. This is always a hotly contested category, and all three authors can feel proud of their inclusion in these high-profile lists, which should provide a nice boost to Christmas sales!

Riotously candid, Alan Duncan’s diaries In the Thick of It cover the most turbulent period in recent British political history – from the eve of the referendum in 2016 to the UK’s eventual exit from the EU in 2020. As two prime ministers fall, two general elections unfold and a no-confidence vote is survived, Alan records a treasure-trove of insider gossip, giving biting and often hilarious accounts of petty rivalries, poor decision-making, big egos, and big crises. Nothing escapes his acerbic gaze. Across these unfiltered daily entries, he builds a revealing and often profound picture of UK politics and personalities.

‘One of the most explosive political diaries ever to be published’ Daily Mail

‘A compelling compendium of high gossip and low intrigue, full of withering put-downs and waspish observations’ Rachel Sylvester, The Times

‘Thoughtful and nuanced … Alan’s insights into the role of a foreign office minister provide many of the highlights of the book’ Iain Dale

‘I’ve thoroughly enjoyed Alan Duncan’s incendiary diaries, in which he buries more bodies than a Mafia undertaker’ Piers Morgan

‘Hugely entertaining’ John Humphrys

Marking the third centenary of the office of prime minister, The Impossible Office? explores the lives and careers, loves and scandals, successes and failures of all our great prime ministers – from Robert Walpole and William Pitt the Younger, to Clement Attlee and Margaret Thatcher. In a rigorous and entertaining work of political analysis, Anthony discusses which of our prime ministers have been most effective and why. The book celebrates the humanity, frailty and achievements of all 55 holders of the office, who have led the country through times of peace, crisis and war.

‘An intelligent and insightful account of the evolution of the role’ Andrew Rawnsley, Observer Book of the Week

‘We need some answers, and Anthony Seldon is one of the few prime ministerial biographers to seek to provide them. He does so insightfully and mischievously’ Steve Richards, Literary Review

‘A tremendous, magisterial book, informed and underpinned by brilliant historical and political insight. A triumph’ William Boyd

Since the EU referendum of 2016, British politics has witnessed a barrage of crises, resignations and general elections. Theresa May’s premiership was the most turbulent of all. In her darkest hour, following her disastrous 2017 election, she turned to Gavin Barwell to help restore her battered authority. He would become her chief of staff for the next two years – a period punctuated by Brexit negotiations, domestic tragedy, and intense political drama.

In his gripping insider memoir, Chief of Staff, Gavin exposes what really went on in the corridors of power – and sheds a vital light on the most inscrutable of modern prime ministers. Revealing how government operates during times of crisis, this is the definitive record of a momentous episode in Britain’s recent political history.

‘A candid, valuable and insightful account of two hugely consequential years of history. Read it if you want to fully understand why we are where we are today’ Andrew Rawnsley, Observer Book of the Week

‘Barwell writes with a humility and honesty that makes Chief of Staff a fascinating and instructive book… his decency and pragmatism shine through the pages’ The Times

‘An important book. It explains how the prime minister’s office works, which means it shows how we are governed. It is a window on one of the most important periods of modem political history: the Brexit negotiation years. Barwell is candid about the mistakes that were made, about how emotion and stupidity will often trump reason, and about the comedy of so much of government. Essential reading for anyone with even a passing interest in politics’ Robert Peston

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