The Chamberlains were the most powerful political dynasty in England between 1876 and 1940 when one or, more usually, two members of the family sat in the Commons, holding between them nearly all the great Offices of State. In recent times, they have sunk into relative obscurity but recent political developments have made their lives seem particularly relevant. Theresa May's listing of Joe Chamberlain in her apostolic succession of great conservatives has brought him back to the forefront of political debate; whilst Brexit has made his policy of Tariff Reform relevant once again to British economic policy. The concerns over President Putin’s foreign policy, coupled with the weak state of Britain’s defence forces, have mirrored the conditions that led to the humiliation of Neville Chamberlain, whilst the UK’s current political turmoil reflects those of the 1920s, which led to Austen Chamberlain being mocked as a perpetual loser. In this book, the author has sought to re-examine the reputations of these three men by concentrating as much on their personal lives and the motives that drove them as on the mighty political events that dominated their times. His conclusions may surprise the reader and may help those who are trying to forge policies to deal with the current political and economic environments.
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