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The Benn Diaries, embracing the years 1940-1990, are already established as a uniquiely authoritative, fascinating and readable record of political life. The selected highlights that form this single volume edition include the most notable events, arguments and personal reflections throughout Benn's long and remarkable career. The narrative starts with Benn as a schoolboy and takes the reader through his youthful wartime experiences as a trainee pilot, his nervous excitement as a new MP during Atlee's premiership and the tribulations of Labour in the 1950's with the Conservatives in firm control. It ends with the Tories again in power, but on the eve of Margaret Thatcher's fall, while Tony Benn is on a mission to Baghdad before the impending Gulf War. Over a span of 50 years, the public and private turmoil in British and world politics is recorded as Benn himself moves from wartime service to become the baby of the House, Cabinet Minister and finally the Commons' most senior Labour Minister.
Radical statesman and Member of Parliament for over fifty years, Tony Benn is the pre-eminent diarist of his generation. His political activity continued after 'retirement' through mass meetings, broadcasts and in more recent years through social media. A widower since 2000, Tony Benn died at his home in London on 14th March 2014.