ORDER, ORDER! The Rise and Fall of Political Drinking


ORDER, ORDER! The Rise and Fall of Political Drinking

BEN WRIGHT    Book Number: 87037    Product format: Hardback

Like being the only sober guest at an uproarious party, here is a fascinating account of politics and drink. Alcohol breaks the ice, oils the wheels, enlivens conversations, perks one up, boosts one's confidence (even if falsely) and provides a shortcut to camaraderie. All this matters in politics, but it can also depress and deaden, leading to a dangerous dependency, and making people a liability both to themselves and to others. This canter around political drinking throws light on why so many politicians reach for the bottle. Drawing on extensive original interviews with leading politicians, Ben Wright argues that political life is unimaginable without alcohol. He tells a story of political imbibing from the 18th century until now, looking at the changing culture of parliamentary drinking and the use of booze in elections. What did prime ministers drink and why? How did it influence their behaviour? Here are concise and vivid portraits of a large cast of political characters from Sir Francis Dashwood and Winston Churchill to Boris Johnson and Tony Blair. Revealing the drinking secrets of Westminster, and travelling overseas to the US, Russia, Australia and Europe, he opens a unique window into the debauchery of party conferences, to a political leader's foreign trip. Richard Nixon, William Pitt the Younger, Joseph Stalin, Nigel Farage, we learn that Robert Walpole, Britain's first Prime Minister, smuggled wine up the Thames with the help of the Navy. Three centuries later Tony Blair confessed that a stiff drink and half a bottle of wine a night had become a helpful crutch while in office. Stalin flushed out traitors with vodka and the disintegration of Richard Nixon and Boris Yeltsin was largely down to drink. And of course Churchill was famous for taking a whisky and soda first thing in the morning and champagne ritually with dinner. A book about the complexity of the human condition. 361pp, 20 illus, mostly in colour.
Published price: £16.99
Bibliophile price: £3.00


Additional product information

ISBN 9780715650639
Browse these categories as well: Last Chance to buy!, Food & Drink/Cookery, Modern History/Current Affairs

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