There are many ways of studying the tumultuous twentieth century – but one of the most revealing and original must be through the key books of the time. Christopher Tugendhat’s A History of Britain Through Books shows how literature both shaped and reflected public concerns over the decades. Embracing authors as wide ranging as Doris Lessing, Noel Coward, Evelyn Waugh, Elizabeth David and George Orwell, Tugendhat’s analysis shines new light on world wars, the end of Empire, rapid social change, the nuclear age, feminism, gay rights, race and immigration. They provide a stunning kaleidoscope of perspectives, unencumbered by hindsights, into the way people lived, the challenges they faced, and the views they held.
Lord Tugendhat has had a long and distinguished career in government, business and public service. Since 1993 he has been a Conservative member of the House of Lords and currently sits on the Economic Affairs Committee. He was a European Commissioner from 1977 to 1985.
He has been chairman of Abbey National plc (1991-2002) and of Blue Circle Industries plc (1996-2001) and is a former chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority (1986-1991), the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) (1986-1995) and the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust (2007- 2011). He is the author of Oil: The Biggest Business (1968), The Multinationals (1971), which won the McKinsey foundation Book Award in the US, Making Sense of Europe (1986) and, in conjunction with William Wallace, Options for British Foreign Policy in the 1990s (1988).