Books: The book that shook Sir Stanley Kalms

Books: The book that shook Sir Stanley Kalms - 'Being a political habitue, my library is full of biographies and autobiographies of the great, their good, their evil and their failed plans. All have left an impression of the addiction of walking the corri

by Sir STANLEY KALMS, chairman of Dixons
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

'Being a political habitue, my library is full of biographies and autobiographies of the great, their good, their evil and their failed plans. All have left an impression of the addiction of walking the corridors of power, with their 15 minutes, or years, at the helm and the explanations and apologies that inevitably follow. Some of the more visionary - Disraeli, Salisbury, Churchill, Kissinger, Thatcher - have passages marked for rereading, but the overall impact is invariably lost in their personal frailties.

For the discerning reader, few political life stories leave the hero on a pedestal.

There is one well-thumbed book in my library that does not suffer from the clay-feet syndrome - the Oxford Dictionary of Political Quotations, a true masterpiece of research edited by Antony Jay. Here you can rejoice in moments of inspiration and occasionally genius. Incisive bons mots, humour that lasts, understandings and insights that survive generations.

From Caesar to Blair, they all offer mind-expanding morsels. And if tempted to get the book, do re-read Alexis de Tocqeville.'

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

Why collaborations fail

Collaboration needn’t be a dirty word.

How redundancies affect culture

There are ways of preventing 'survivor syndrome' derailing your recovery.

What they don't tell you about inclusive leadership

Briefing: Frances Frei was hired to fix Uber’s ‘bro culture’. Here’s her lesson for where...

Should you downsize the office?

Many businesses are preparing for a 'hybrid' workplace.

How to make your team more accountable

‘Do as I do’ works a lot better than ‘do as I say’.

Black talent isn’t hard to find: It’s just you

If you want to attract the widest range of applicants, you need to think about...