Wivenhoe Bookshop Magazine & Newsletter | Monday 25 March 2019

‘Citizen Clem’ – John Bew in Conversation

‘Citizen Clem’ – John Bew in Conversation

with Anthony Clavane

7pm Thurs 15th Feb

Royal British Legion

The Quay


Tickets £4.00

To book call 001206 824050 or book by email



Book of the year: The Times, Sunday Times, New Statesman, Spectator, Evening Standard

We are delighted to announce that award-winning author Professor John Bew will be joining us to talk about his acclaimed biography of Clement Atlee. ‘Citizen Clem’ accords Attlee his rightful place alongside Churchill, and explores the intellectual foundations and core beliefs of one of the most important figures in twentieth-century British history,

About the Book

Clement Attlee was the Labour prime minister who presided over Britain’s radical postwar government, delivering the end of the Empire in India, the foundation of the NHS and Britain’s place in NATO.

Called ‘a sheep in sheep’s clothing’, his reputation has long been that of an unassuming character in the shadow of Churchill. But as John Bew’s revelatory biography shows, Attlee was not only a hero of his age, but an emblem of it; and his life tells the story of how Britain changed over the twentieth century.

Here, Bew pierces Attlee’s reticence to examine the intellect and beliefs of Britain’s greatest – and least appreciated – peacetime prime minister.

About John Bew

Professor John Bew teaches History and Foreign Policy at the War Studies Department at King’s College London.

Professor John Bew

He was the winner of the 2015 Philip Leverhulme Prize for outstanding achievement in Politics and International Studies and previously held the Henry Kissinger Chair in Foreign Policy and International Relations at the Library of Congress in Washington DC.

John is a contributing writer at the New Statesman and the author of five books, including the critically-acclaimed Realpolitik: A History and Castlereagh. He was born in Belfast, educated at Cambridge, and lives in Wimbledon, London.

About Anthony Clavane

Anthony Clavane

John Bew will be in conversation with award-winning author and journalist Anthony Clavane, who writes for The New European, the New Statesman and The Guardian.

He has won Press Gazette Feature Writer of the Year and BT Regional Sportswriter of the Year awards.

His first book Promised Land: A Northern Love Story was the recipient of numerous prizes, and Clavane’s two subsequent books, Does Your Rabbi Know You’re Here? and Moving the Goalposts: A Yorkshire Tragedy also received much praise.

To book call 001206 824050 or book by email

Praise for ‘Citizen Clem’

‘If Labour is to return to power, it is not to Tony Blair and Harold Wilson to whom it should turn for inspiration but to the ethos and example of Attlee . . .’ — Jason Cowley, New Statesman

‘Outstanding . . . This excellent new life of Labour’s greatest leader . . . We still live in the society that was shaped by Clement Attlee . . . Bew’s achievement is not only to bring this curious and introverted man to life, but to make him oddly loveable. He steps out like a character from the pages of the social novels of H. G. Wells or George Orwell . .’ Robert Harris, Sunday Times

‘Both a magnificent renewal of the art of political biography and a monument to the greatest leader the Labour party has ever had. It presents us with a man whose socialism was learned, not acquired.’— Jonathan Derbyshire, Orwell Prize Judge

‘In this monumental biography, John Bew sets out to explore, not just the scale of the achievement, but to discover what made Attlee tick . . . A good book about a remarkable man.’ — Chris Mullin, Guardian

‘An absorbing new life of Clement Attlee shows how a quiet man from the suburbs became Labour’s unlikely postwar hero …this book will become required reading for the present-day Labour party — John Kampfner, Observer

‘His true political genius and unflinching moral purpose are brilliantly reappraised in John Bew’s Citizen Clem . . . This book is a rare beast – political biography at its finest, yet one that is deeply moving.’ — David Bell, Times Literary Supplement

‘A masterful portrait of a man who led the Labour Party for 20 years and arguably did more than any other UK politician to shape the postwar world . . . Attlee was a patriot who believed that tolerance was Britain’s greatest gift to the world. Now, more than ever, it is tolerance we need.’ Book of the Year — Tom Watson, New Statesman

‘Attlee was a distant and austere figure by reputation, but the book sweeps that away from the start, recalling Clem the street agitator and war hero. Book of the Year’ — Roland White, Sunday Times

To book call 001206 824050 or book by email