Shirley's six of the best

by Stephen Tall on July 18, 2009

Over at the Express, Lib Dem peer Baroness (Shirley) Williams lists her six favourite books. And in case you’re wondering what they are, here goes…

  • Perkin the Pedlar by Eleanor Farjeon (Out of Print)
    I read this children’s book when I was seven, if not younger and it helped me learn the alphabet.
  • The Great Transformation by Karl Polanyi (Out of print)
    An absolutely brilliant history book which tells the story of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th, covering among other events the Industrial Revolution, the creation of nations and the birth of empires.
  • Testament of Youth by Vera Brittan
    I have to include my mother’s moving First World War memoir about the loss of her male friends and relatives. Perhaps inevitably, because the experience had such a profound effect on her, it also had an effect on me.
  • The Affluent Society by JK Galbraith
    The influential book in which the famous economist advocated that post-war Western countries should adopt a Keynesian economic policy.
  • The Collected Poems of WB Yeats by WB Yeats
    I love reading poetry because you can get a feeling for the imagery described so quickly – and it’s so refreshing for someone like me who is immersed in politics.
  • Presidential Power and the Modern Presidents: The Politics of Leadership from Roosevelt to Reagan by Richard E Neustadt (Out of print)
    Another brilliant book – written, incidentally, by my late husband – which provides the most fascinating insights into many of the 20th century’s presidents.

Incidentally, Lib Dem Voice will be publishing recommended summer reading by various Lib Dem bloggers on Sunday and Monday. So if you’re short of inspiration for your beach selection, click back to LDV tomorrow.

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No comments

Good to see Galbraith included in the list. He was out of fashion until we all discovered what he would have known all along had he been alive; an economic boom sustained by unregulated debt was bound to crash.

by Geoffrey Payne on July 18, 2009 at 11:34 pm. Reply #

Surprised that Polyani is out of print. It is normally on most Grad IR reading lists.

by Steve on July 19, 2009 at 11:15 am. Reply #

Both her mother and husband have titles here – good for her royalties collection!

by Mike on July 20, 2009 at 2:19 pm. Reply #

I have great admiration for Shirley, and am just finishing her post 9-11 book, ‘God and Caesar’, in which she has some thought provoking insights, and sensible conclusions, many of which I feel able to share, even though I do not share her faith in religion. Looking forward to her autobiography in September.

by Terry Gilbert on July 21, 2009 at 3:34 pm. Reply #

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