THE MEMOIRS OF LORD CHANDOS by Oliver (Lord Chandos) Lyttleton


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Oliver Lyttelton, the first Viscount Chandos, has long been a name in the English Establishment, both as a member of the government and as a leader of industry. He has led a full, fructifying life, and his autobiography comes to us spangled with salutations from the other side of the Atlantic, including comparisons to Tolstoy, Balzac, Rembrandt. Just how those eminences were arrived at surely must be a state secret, for Lord Chandos, writing a strict, regimentally well-groomed prose, conducts us through the inner circles of power and prestige with such courtly self-possession, such careful accounting, that one has the feeling at times of charts unrolling, of plans, not pages, turning. However, once we've settled into the stiffness, the Viscount's dissections and descriptions of people (Churchill, Montgomery, De Gaulle, the Glubb Pasha, Eden, Roosevelt, Hopkins) and periods (pre-WWI Eton and Cambridge, the Battle of the Somme- Chandos was with the Grenadier Guards-, the Middle East campaign against Rommel, the Mau Mau uprising), proves a rather remarkable record of hobnobbing in high places- striking in scope, sober, shrewd. Thus for all its summitry, its austers approach, the world of the public man, of the policy maker is here far more fittingly fingerprinted than in all the fiction of C. P. Snow. But on what impersonality.....

Pub Date: Nov. 4th, 1963
Publisher: New American Library