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Douglas Hurd was an MP from 1974 to 1997, he served as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Home Secretary and Foreign Secretary. He is the (co-)author of many thrillers, his MEMOIRS and the highly acclaimed ROBERT PEEL.
February 2011 Non-Fiction Book of the Month. Written by a man who has known the inside of the Foreign Office, a history written with the leavening of experience. What could have been a dense and academic history is actually very readable, intimate portraits of the men who have directed foreign policy over the last 200 years. It starts with a duel in 1809 (Castlereagh and Canning) and ends with Bevin and Eden, charting the rise and fall of British influence in the world. Pistols at Dawn: Two Hundred Years of Political Rivalry from Pitt and Fox to Blair and Brown, John CampbellParting Shots, Matthew Parri
The acclaimed Penguin Monarchs series: short, fresh, expert accounts of England's rulers - now in paperback Elizabeth II is the longest-serving monarch who ever sat on the English or British throne. Yet her personality and influence remain elusive. This book, by a senior politician who has spent significant periods of time in her company, and is also a distinguished historian, portrays her more credibly than any other yet published. Douglas Hurd was a politician, biographer and novelist who served in the governments of Margaret Thatcher and John Major, as Minister for Europe (1979-83), Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1984-85), Home Secretary (1985-89) and Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1989-95). His previous books include his Memoirs, Robert Peel: A Biography and, with Edward Young, Choose Your Weapons: The British Foreign Secretary - 200 Years of Argument, Success and Failure.
Five hard-hitting short stories and a political essay inspired by Douglas Hurd's visit to Sarajevo in 1992. All demonstrate preoccupations with the world tensions of the nineties, observed by Hurd's acute political eye.
Prime Minister Simon Russell's personal alarm clock is ticking away, while outside, beyond No. 10, prison riots, bombs in Ireland, corporate blackmail in China and civil unrest in Russia jostle for attention. From the smallest details of the PM's office to the global significance of an international crisis, Douglas Hurd's fine political novel illustrates the political process with real authenticity.With the narrative momentum of a gripping thriller, The Shape of Ice demonstrates how ominous events can develop from near-invisibility into momentous crises. Set in the near future, the novel eloquently conveys the stress of life at the top of the political ladder the pressure slowly builds to the point where it distorts judgement and relationships.
After a narrow Labour Party victory that is dependent on Scottish Labour votes, the young, ambitious and right-wing Alcester sweeps in as Tory leader of the opposition. He has married the previous Prime Minister's daughter, and when their baby boy is kidnapped in mysterious circumstances it leads to an upsurge of support for the bright new Party leader. Alcester redoubles his campaign to throw the Scots out of the UK and in parallel the SLA bid for independence - there is violence throughout the cities of Scotland. As the situation gets out of hand, the Prime Minister announces a referendum in favour of the Union and UK membership of the EU as the only way to check his ruthless young rival.
As an MP, Douglas Hurd would write a new short story every year during the summer Parliamentary recess. This collection comprises ten tales, including a moving account of a family in Bosnia (The Last Day of Summer), a caper about drugrunning off Florida (A Suitcase Between Friends), and a grimly realistic Ulster vignette (Fog of Peace). Each of these stories reflects the intelligent concerns of a politician engaged in, and committed to, both the everyday world of domestic matters and at the highest level.