Paul Foot:A Life in Politics

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A portrait of one of the most vital, and brilliant, journalists and writers of his generation.

Paul Foot was one of the most powerful and influential investigative reporters of his generation. For nearly 50 years he was the scourge of corrupt politicians and dodgy businessmen, and the champion of the causes of working people, the under-represented and the underprivileged.

In this, the first biography of Paul Foot, the writer and journalist Margaret Renn traces Foot's personal, political and professional trajectory, placing his life and works within the historical narrative of postwar Britain and beyond. Drawing on extensive interviews with those who worked knew him and worked alongside him, along with an unparalleled knowledge of his prodigious output, the book brings the many different faces of Paul Foot together and shows him as one of the most vital, and brilliant, journalists and writers of his generation.

A prolific writer for Daily Mirror, Guardian, London Review of Books among many others, his investigations broke some of the major stories of postwar Britain, from the sinking of the Belgrano during the Falklands war, the Tory Government’s assault on the coal miners in the 1984/5 strike, and the Labour Government’s catastrophic use of the Private Finance Initiative. But, equally, he told small stories about ordinary people caught up in
extraordinary events, those like Colin Wallace, drummed out of army intelligence in Northern Ireland, or policeman Ron Smith, whose daughter Helen died in suspicious circumstances in Saudi Arabia.