Harold and Jack: The Remarkable Friendship of Prime Minister Macmillan and President Kennedy

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9781616149352: Harold and Jack: The Remarkable Friendship of Prime Minister Macmillan and President Kennedy

Acclaimed biographer Christopher Sandford tells the engrossing story of the unlikely friendship between British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan and President John F. Kennedy, a crucial political and personal relationship during the most dangerous days of the Cold War. 

This is the story of the many-layered relationship between two iconic leaders of the mid-twentieth century--British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan and American President John F. Kennedy. Based on previously unquoted papers and private letters between both the leaders themselves and their families,  more than half of which are available for the first time, critically acclaimed biographer Christopher Sandford reveals a host of new insights into the ways these two very different men managed to bring order out of chaos in an age of precarious nuclear balance.

Sandford traces the emotional undercurrents that linked Macmillan and JFK--and sometimes estranged them. The author's personalized narrative delves into the maneuverings behind the scenes of major political events: dealing with the disastrous Bay of Pigs episode in Cuba, responding to the provocative Soviet act of building the Berlin Wall, the tense back-and-forth consultations during the Cuban missile crisis, and the serious disagreement between the two allies over the Skybolt nuclear deterrent, which almost caused a major rift in US-British relations. Also presented are vivid portraits of the two first ladies and many extracts from personal papers that reveal the human factor rarely glimpsed by the public.

With a wealth of new information in an engaging narrative, this book offers a vividly told historical account of two key figures of twentieth-century history, whose legacy helped shape our world today.

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About the Author:

Christopher Sandford is the critically acclaimed biographer of nineteen books. Although British-born, he grew up in Washington, DC, at the time of the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, where his father served as a senior British military liaison. Sandford took a masters degree in modern history from Cambridge. He has written on postwar affairs for a range of publications including The Times, the Daily Telegraph, Chronicles, the Daily Mail, the Transactions of the Historical Society, and on Harold Macmillan and his administration in the American Conservative. His various other articles have appeared in, among others, the Seattle Times, Cosmopolitan, Rolling Stone, the Spectator, and the Observer. He has written biographies of rock, film, and sports stars including Mick Jagger, Kurt Cobain, Keith Richards, Steve McQueen, Roman Polanski, among others.  Sandford's joint study of Harry Houdini and Arthur Conan Doyle was published in November 2011. His most recent book is Summer 1914.

Review:

“An interesting and persuasive account of these accidental friends.”

-Washington Post Book World 

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