Phoenix £12.99 (415pp) £11.69 from the Independent Bookshop: 08430 600 030
Choose Your Weapons, By Douglas Hurd
Friday 04 March 2011
Focusing on a dozen Foreign Secretaries from the last 200 years, this book starts with a bang. In an 1809 duel, an ex-Foreign Secretary shot a holder of the post in the thigh.
Though this dangerous posturing casts doubt on the strategic abilities of Lord Castlereagh and George Canning, Hurd insists the two men would have made "a truly great Foreign Secretary" if their talents had been compounded.
Canning's approach was "unilateral, noisy, vaguely idealistic", while Castlereagh emphasised "the building of alliances". Exploring British oscillation between these poles, Hurd is astute about Tony Blair, who laid down conditions for humanitarian intervention in 1999, but ignored these conditions "when it came to the point in 2003".
Music Why this music festival is still the place to spot the next big thing
Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 East 17 bandmember Brian Harvey in 'very desperate situation’
- 2 Is this bridge haunted by the ghost of nu rave?
- 3 Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
- 4 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 5 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
Britain's first cinema flickers back to life following £6m refurbishment
A historian gave the most British look of despair when someone screwed up Richard III's birthday at his reburial
James May hints Top Gear days are over following Jeremy Clarkson's BBC exit
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
James May hints he will not continue on Top Gear without Jeremy Clarkson
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers