Harold Macmillan, 1894-1956 (Magill's Literary Annual 1990)
Harold Macmillan was born into an important publishing family, his grandfather having founded the book-publishing firm, Macmillan, fifty-one years before Harold was born in 1894. Following his marriage in 1920, Harold Macmillan became a junior partner in the family publishing house and, like his father, seemed destined to make this his life’s vocation. In the 1920’s he had editorial responsibilities for some of the firm’s most prominent authors: Thomas Hardy, Rudyard Kipling, and William Butler Yeats, among others. Macmillan was especially interested in contemporary economists, and was responsible for recruiting G. D. H. Cole into the firm’s stable of authors. Biographer Alistair Horne implies that Macmillan’s special interest in economic policy, and perhaps his unorthodox views on that subject, stemmed from having worked with Cole and John Maynard Keynes, another Macmillan author, in his capacity as a publisher.
In the early 1920’s there was little reason to anticipate that Macmillan would become a successful politician. He was extremely shy, lacked self-confidence, and seemed deficient in precisely the qualities often associated with politicians. Horne attributes Macmillan’s involvement in politics to two factors: his mother’s ambitions for him, and the influence of his father-in-law, Lord Cavendish, the head of an important British political family.
Macmillan’s mother, Nellie Belles, was an American from the small town of...
(The entire section is 2341 words.)
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Bibliography (Magill's Literary Annual 1990)
The Economist. CCCIX, October 15, 1988, p.113.
The Guardian. October 14, 1988, p.26.
Library Journal. CXIV, February 1, 1989, p.69.
Los Angeles Times. April 6, 1989, V, p.18.
National Review. XLI, April 21, 1989, p.40.
The New Republic. CC, March 20, 1989, p.42.
New Statesman and Society. I, October 14, 1988, p.31.
The New York Review of Books. XXXVI, April 27, 1989, p.36.
The New York Times Book Review. XCIV, March 5, 1989, p.1.
The Times Literary Supplement. June 23, 1989, p.679.
The Washington Post Book World. XIX, March 19, 1989, p.11.
(The entire section is 70 words.)