Elegy for a Contrarian

The life and times of Enoch Powell, a brilliant and blunt British politician.

Issue: Summer 1998

After Enoch Powell's death in February, at the age of eighty--five,
he received the kind of broad-based acclaim from the British
establishment never offered during the key battles of his lifetime,
and denied him most particularly during the pivotal half dozen years
after 1968, when he was expelled from the Tory leadership only to
emerge as Britain's foremost "nationalist" politician. Thirty years
later Paul Johnson wrote that save for Churchill and Margaret
Thatcher, Powell would be the most remembered British political
figure of the century. He probably has no equal in capacity to
provoke argument. Barely two months after his death, the BBC's
Channel Four put on the screen "The Trial of Enoch Powell"-a
disparaging program whose very production nonetheless signaled the
extent of Powell's pull on the public imagination.

You must be a subscriber of The National Interest to access this article. If you are already a subscriber, please activate your online access. Not a subscriber? Become a subscriber today!