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The self-made exile

Michael Foot was the great rhetorician of his age. His tirades against government enlivened politics and helped sustain the credibility of parliament

By Andrew Adonis   May 2007

Michael Foot: a life, by Kenneth O Morgan (HarperPress, £25)

Most politicians vanish from memory as rapidly as the controversies they spin. It is ideas, institutions and rare inspirational individuals that linger, and even the last of these often survive with little reference to their political careers. Who thinks of Tocqueville as Louis-Napoleon’s foreign minister, or even Madison as a two-term president?

I therefore expected this biography of Michael Foot to be of interest mainly to students and political survivors of the dismal 1970s and early 1980s—the only periods of his…

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