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Parliament is Britain's most important political institution, yet its workings remain obscure to academics and the wider public alike.
MPs are often seen as 'out of touch' or 'all the same' and their individual motivations, achievements and regrets remain in the background of party politics.
In this book, Emma Peplow and Priscila Pivatto draw on the History of Parliament Trust's collection of oral history interviews with postwar British MPs to highlight their diverse political experiences in Parliament. Featuring extracts from a collection of interviews with over 160 former MPs who sat from the 1950s until the 2000s, The Political Lives of Postwar British MPs gives a voice to those MPs' stories.
It explores why they became interested in politics, how they found their seat and fought election campaigns, what it felt like to speak in the chamber and how their class or gender dictated their experiences at Westminster.
In the process, readers will be given rare glimpse into the spaces inhabited by MPs, the political rivalries and friendships and the rising and falling of their careers. With accounts from MPs of all political stripes, from the well-known like David Owen and Ann Taylor to those who sat for just a few years such as Denis Coe; from old political families like Douglas Hurd to those like Maria Fyfe who felt themselves outsiders, this book provides deep insight into the political lives of MPs in our age.
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