Showing His Age

Noel Annan, Our Age: Portrait of a Generation (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1990).

Issue: Spring 1991

Noel Annan, Our Age: Portrait of a Generation (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1990).  470 pp., L20.

Arthur Balfour is quoted as saying of Winston Churchill's World Crisis that Winston had written an autobiography and called it a history of the world.  In Our Age: Portrait of a Generation, Lord Annan has written an autobiography and called it a history of his age.  His subject concerns the most influential British thinkers, writers, dons, and civil servants, born around the same time as himself (1916).  That is, those who, between 1945 and Mrs. Thatcher's election in 1979, secured positions from which they could run the country.  Either that, or they influenced and cowed the politicians who were supposed to be running it.

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