Betty Boothroyd. The Autobiography. Signed Copy

Boothroyd, Betty

Edité par Century, 2001
ISBN 10: 0712679480 / ISBN 13: 9780712679480
Ancien(s) ou d'occasion / Green hardback cloth cover / Quantité : 0
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338pp. With dust jacket Signed by Betty Boothroyd without dedication on full title page. Language: eng. N° de réf. du libraire

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Synopsis : The enormous respect and affection of the British public for Betty Boothroyd has its roots in a strong belief in what she stands for: fair play, an unshakeable sense of honour and a passionate belief in the sovereignty of Parliament. Her convictions, she has said, are set in 'Yorkshire granite'. Born into a working class family in Dewsbury in 1929, there was little money, but Betty grew up in a home that radiated love and warmth. Betty popular and a talented dancer who went on, eventually, to become one of the celebrated Tiller Girls - the full story of which she tells here for the first time. But by the age of 25 Betty's dreams of taking the West End by storm had crashed - and her father's ambition of seeing her settled with a nice safe job had been abandoned. Undaunted, she won a national speaking award, stood for election to the local council and became a full-time worker for the Labour Party. Nothing would ever part Betty Boothroyd from politics again. In 1953 Betty began work at the House of Commons for Barbara Castle and Geoffrey de Freitas. She speaks candidly about the devastation of losing two by-elections and the time she spent in America campaigning for JFK. Back in Britain, Betty landed a top job with millionaire Labour Minister Lord Harry Walston and the Yorkshire girl became part of the inner circle of the socialist elite, including Hugh Gaitskell and Roy Jenkins. She describes the elation she felt on becoming an MP at last in 1973, the huge debt she owes her mother for her support, and the full story behind her role in the struggle to save the Labour Party from the hard left. Betty Boothroyd's long political career reached its apogee in 1992 when she was appointed the first woman Speaker of the House of Commons with overwhelming support from both sides of the House. Her term of office coincided with John Major's attempts to defend his slim majority. Detailing many of the true stories behind the headlines, she writes of the sleaze scandals that beset the Major government, her feelings when Labour won their landslide election in 1997 and her strongly held views on the role of Parliament. Finally, she tells why she decided to retire, her plans for the future and - in retrospect - what she feels about her decision to put public service above marriage. Written to appeal to the wide audience which has responded so warmly to her and to the values she represents. Betty Boothroyd's autobiography is destined to be an enormous bestseller.

Critique: Betty Boothroyd: The Autobiography has Baroness Boothroyd of Sandwell, with her characteristic endearing zeal, recounting her trail from working-class Dewsbury to Westminster. The daughter of a weftman, she passes from rags to political riches with the Labour Party, to which she claims an umbilical loyalty. After a now-notorious spell with the Tiller Girls, she started working full-time for the Labour Party, and eventually, after four attempts at securing a seat, she finally won West Bromwich in 1973--the constituency she was to represent for 27 years. Pro-Europe, pro-choice, anti-capital punishment, she was made a junior Whip in 1974 and Deputy Speaker in 1987 before finally succeeding Jack Weatherill to become the 155th--and first female--Speaker of the House of Commons in 1992. By the time of her retirement from the Chair in July 2000, her "wigless informality" had seen her become one of the most recognisable and popular faces, not just in the House or West Bromwich, but throughout the country.

The woman Private Eye cruelly and unfairly accused of having "all the charm of carbon monoxide gas in an airtight room" airs her story with unstuffy grace and emphatic integrity. Much has been made of the large sum the publishers paid for her story, but Boothroyd chooses discretion over revelation in describing her path from model to Madame Speaker: while she discusses her brief experience training with the Tiller Girls, she includes no photographs from the period, and declines to elaborate further on the three proposals of marriage she claims to have received. Nevertheless, she assesses her political career and tenure on the Chair with splendid candour, from the fight to rid the Party of Militant, ding-dongs with party Whips, the "cash for questions" controversy, Nelson Mandela's first state visit to London, Gerry Adams' and Martin McGuinness' refusal to take the Parliamentary oath, to the fuss over her banning women MPs from breastfeeding during committee. Never constrained by doctrine but always fiercely loyal to her principles, her motto as Speaker, "I Speak to Serve", fittingly sums up the distinguished, quietly extraordinary political career of this much-loved Yorkshire terrier. --David Vincent

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Détails bibliographiques

Titre : Betty Boothroyd. The Autobiography. Signed ...
Éditeur : Century
Date d'édition : 2001
Reliure : Green hardback cloth cover
Etat du livre : VG: in very good condition
Edition : First Edition.

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Betty Boothroyd
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