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Citizen Clem: A Biography of Attlee

Wednesday 29 March 2017

1 Hour


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Ticket price

Award-winning historian Professor John Bew argues that the life of post-war prime minister Clement Attlee stands alongside that of Churchill in telling the story of how Britain moved from high imperialism through two world wars to commonwealth.

Bew says Attlee, a Labour prime minister between 1945 and 1951, was one of the most important figures in 20th-century British history and his role is underappreciated. Attlee won an overwhelming victory in the 1945 general election with a mandate to implement the most radical manifesto ever put before a British electorate. He oversaw the end of empire in India, the foundation of the NHS, Britain’s place in NATO and the beginnings of the nuclear arms race.

Bew is professor of history and foreign policy at King’s College London and winner of the 2015 Philip Leverhulme Prize for politics and international studies. He was youngest ever holder of the Henry A Kissinger Chair in Foreign Policy at the John W. Kluge Center at the US Library of Congress. He is also author of Realpolitik: A History and Castlereagh: Enlightenment, War & Tyranny.

This event is part of a festival series on leadership sponsored by HSBC.