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Raymond Challinor


(Spring 1966)

From International Socialism (1st series), No.24, Spring 1966, pp.34-35.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

The First Hundred Days of Harold Wilson
Anthony Shrimsley
Weidenfeld, 30s

A new genre has been created: the book, usually written by a highly professional journalist, describes a political event in minute detail. It tries to combine the thrills of the sports’ page with the vicarious delight acquired from reading the gossip columns and thereby knowing the goings-on in high society. This type of book eschews any serious consideration of political issues. The author does not analyse events; he contents himself with a camera-like recording of them.

The Making of a President, a blow by blow account of the Johnson-Goldwater contest, was followed by a book, in a similar vein, on that close-fought match between Wilson and Home. Mr Shrimsley has now written what is, logically, the follow-on: describing how the victor is using the spoils. Interesting, lively, readable, Mr Shrimsley’s book leaves me wondering about one thing: how could the blurb call it ‘thought-provoking?’

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Last updated: 14.5.2008