The Man Who Was Saturday: The Extraordinary Life of Airey Neave Paperback – 19 February 2020
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- Paperback : 320 pages
- ISBN-13 : 978-0008309084
- ISBN-10 : 0008309086
- Publisher : HarperCollins - GB (19 February 2020)
- Product Dimensions : 12.9 x 2.1 x 19.8 cm
- Language: : English
- Customer Reviews:
‘Sympathetic, magnificent … This exemplary biography is a timely corrective when the fashion is for politicians to run away after they suffer a setback’ Times
‘Neave was a brave, modest and decent man. Bishop shows him also to be complex, sometimes troubled, and more interesting than many who did not know him understood. He deserves a first-rate biography, and Bishop has written it’ Daily Telegraph
‘It succeeds triumphantly. Masterly on military matters, sympathetic, psychologically acute and alert to irony’ Sunday Telegraph
‘Bishop writes with admirable brevity and insight’ Sunday Times
Praise for Patrick Bishop:
‘This is a terrifically readable, authoritative book that told me many fascinating things I did not know’ Max Hastings, Sunday Times
‘As a former war correspondent with more than 30 years’ experience, Bishop brings journalistic strengths to his second career as a popular historian: an easily readable and exciting writing style, a knowledge of what fighting means to those at the sharp end, a nose for the nub of the story, and an admirable compassion for the victims of war on all sides…a book that at once educates, explains, and excites’ BBC History magazine, Book of the Month
‘Monumental … after Bishop's pilot's eye views of the war in Fighter Boys and Bomber Boys, Air Force Blue counts as a publishing event. It won't disappoint” Times
‘Compelling … Mr Bishop has an enormous tale to tell as he leads up to 1939 and six years of formative war…what Mr. Bishop does so well is to show how the RAF came to be such a distinctive and effective force’ Country Life
‘Full of excellent and vivid stories, this terrifically readable and authoritative book tells the dramatic story of the RAF during the Second World War’ Sunday Times
‘This meticulously compiled survey sets out to combine encomium with a series of unblinkered evaluations’ TLS
About the Author
Patrick Bishop worked as senior correspondent for the Daily Telegraph. He is the author of The Irish Empire; the acclaimed book The Provisional IRA with Eamonn Mallie; the bestselling Fighter Boys ; and most recently the bestselling Bomber Boys and 3 Para. He lives in London.
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The book develops a life story which was that of a quiet outsider who took chances when they came and sometimes those worked. His escape from the Colditz fortress prison was one such which worked with a phlegmatic Dutchman who, once they had separated after the home run, never kept in touch. For many who had near death experiences revisiting the event provoked such turbulent thoughts that they could not go back. This seems to Have reflected itself in night terrors, but like most of this fighting generation preferred to internalise the mental scars, in contrast with much of the often ham fisted attempts at talking therapy today.
He was it seems a quietly competent MP on the periphery of Office, but saw that the route to settlement in NI was to walk softly but carry a big stick. His views mirrored the development of a very effective counter insurgency using all aspects of state empowered self defence. By the time the Good Friday agreement came along the para militaries were exhausted, much of their own communities sought escape from the impoverishment of the troubles and it has been claimed that newly recruited paramilitary field operatives knew that their active life expectancy was less than a year, the outcome being death or jail.
This legacy Is overshadowed by his promotion of Margaret Thatcher, and his inevitable assassination, by those far sighted men who knew what was coming, but by then it was too late, the response to their activities was inevitable and inexorable.
Some events are palpable, the Balcombe Street siege, and the explosions in Hyde Park Birmingham and Guildford where soft targets were destroyed with much loss of life. The outrages hardened public opinion and enabled confrontation and eventual exhaustion of the opposition.
Cross party activity enabled Roy Mason and Neave to work in concert, from a position of mutual support. The pointless opposition displayed in Parliament today (and the disloyalty) underlines the perception of common threat seen by the government in the 1970’s.
The author has retrieved much information about a man who developed a. Carapace of silence in the midst of clamour. Even in death he remained an enigmatic figure, a determined and decent constituency MP whose majorities increased even as his colleagues were voted out in the 1960’s and 70’s.
Those MPs who were returned against the grain of the recent U.K. election, appear to have survived on their personal quiet constituency work. That’s is probably no bad thing, as those who died in the Peterloo Massacre were asking for community parliamentary representation, which Neave took seriously, in a time when assumptions about electoral outcomes led to abuse of position. The Profumo affair high lights the contrast in behaviour.
I visited Colditz Castle and with the kind permission of a duty policeman at the gates of the House of Commons,
I stood on the spot where he lost his life. Very sad.
After reading this book I feel that a different outlook is put on his personality.
I will alway keep my original memories and utter respect for him.
I found some parts of the book to be “Infill “ and a little boating.
Sorry for that, but say it as you see it is what I’ve always been tought.
The book covers a momentous time in British History; The 2nd World War, the Irish Troubles, the Miner's Strikes and Industrial Unrest. A period of transformation of home ownership, the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty which hopefully ended world wars and a time of certainty for several years.
Not a particularly gripping read, but much of interest about a fascinating person and a "broad- brush" look at an interesting period; especially if you were there.
It starts very well with a great introduction to the man however the narrative slowly descended into just reeling through a list of things that had happened. I wanted to know more about the man.
This could be should an amazing story but this book didn't keep my interest as much as I had expected.