Monday, March 24, 2014
AN ENGLISH AFFAIR:SEX CLASS AND POWER IN THE AGE OF PROFUMO - Richard Davenport- Hines
A social history set against the back drop of the Profumo Scandal. The book starts with mini biographies of all the main players starting with Harold MacMillan through to all the newspaper owners.
The scandal wasn't really much of a scandal as this book shows. What the book really shows is that the level of class and police corruption was absolutely staggering. Stephen Ward was driven to suicide by the British establishment pure and simple, because he wasn't one of them.
Profumo does not come out of this with any honour either, the myth that dedicated his life to good works after this is just that, a myth, he was someone who could not leave women alone and remained this way until he died.
The level of police corruption is equaled by the enormous power that was misused by the newspapers and this misuse seems to have been accepted. It may have been done and I am unaware of it but the newspapers in this matter are worth a book on their own.
A great social history and gives a great view of Britain as it came to change in the early 1960's.