During the course of the Twentieth Century, nineteen men and one woman - from Robert Cecil, Third Marquis of Salisbury to Tony Blair - have occupied the post of Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. In a series of biographical essays, Dick Leonard, a leading political journalist and former MP, recounts the circumstances that took them to the top of "the greasy pole", probes their personal and political strengths and weaknesses, assesses their performance in the top office and asks what lasting influence they have had. The author also recounts fascinating and little-known facts about the private lives of each of the Prime Ministers, for example which two premiers, one Tory, one Labour, were taught by the same governess as a child? Who was thrashed at his public school for writing pornography and later donated one-fifth of his fortune to the nation? Who was awarded a fourth class degree at Oxford and went on to father eight children? Who was the only Prime Minister to be born overseas? Who was described by his son as "probably the greatest natural Don Juan in the history of British politics"?

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