The Castle Diaries, 1974-76

In This Review

The Castle Diaries, 1974-76

By Barbara Castle
Holmes & Meier, 1981
788 pp. $42.50
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As Secretary of State for Social Services, Barbara Castle was a member of Harold Wilson's Cabinet. The diaries deal mostly with the relatively tedious details of her portfolio, but glimpses of the idiosyncrasies of British politics and attitudes enliven the book. A member of the anti-Marketeering Left, she was "relieved" that the projected Channel tunnel was dropped, with this comment, "It is a kind of earthy feeling that an island is an island and should not be violated. Certainly I am convinced that the building of a tunnel would do something profound to the national attitude-and certainly not for the best."