Roy Jenkins: A Life at the Center

In This Review

Roy Jenkins: A Life at the Center

By Roy Jenkins
Random House, 1991
585 pp. $30.00

Son of a coal miner and Labor Member of Parliament, Roy Jenkins rose to extraordinary heights in British life and politics: a tribute to his great talents and to a society that was hospitable to a generous dose of meritocracy. The acclaimed author of several political biographies, Jenkins applies the same literary skill and realistic insight to this splendid autobiography, which also tells the story of British politics from the end of World War II to Jenkins' term as president of the European Commission (1977-81) and his role in founding the Social Democratic Party. He provides superb sketches of the leading actors in Britain and abroad. A convinced Europeanist, a passionate and principled politician (who held several Labor cabinet posts, including the chancellorship of the exchequer), a writer and a man of the world, Jenkins has indeed been at the center of many stages, enjoying it and giving the reader vicarious and instructive pleasure.

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