The latest book from the Liberal Democrat History Group aims to assess the qualities required for effective political leadership. Who is a good leader and who a bad?
British Liberal Leaders – published by Biteback alongside companion volumes on Conservative and Labour leaders – contains chapters on every leader of the Liberal Party, SDP and Liberal Democrats from Earl Grey, who led the Whigs through the Great Reform Act of 1832, to Nick Clegg, the first Liberal leader to enter government for more than sixty years. Chapters cover such towering political figures as Palmerston, Gladstone, Asquith and Lloyd George; those, such as Sinclair, Clement Davies and Grimond, who led the party during its darkest hours; and those who led its revival, including David Steel, Roy Jenkins and Paddy Ashdown.
The book also contains interviews with Steel, Ashdown and Clegg on their experiences in leadership, and a range of analytical frameworks by which to judge the leaders on their records.
British Liberal Leaders is available now from our shop, and will be on sale at the History Group’s exhibition stand at the Liberal Democrat conference in Bournemouth, for £25 (£20 for subscribers to the Journal of Liberal History). Simon Hughes, Paul Tyler and Menzies Campbell will be launching the book at our fringe meeting on Sunday 20 September (1300–1400), in the Deauville Suite, Trouville Hotel. All welcome.