Lord Beaverbrook: The History Man
Between 1954 and 1958 Ann Moyal was a research assistant to the press baron Max Aitken, Lord Beaverbrook. Here she offers a personal recollection of the political mover and shaker as he embarked on a new phase of his career as a historian of his times.
In the first half of the 20th century two men emerged who would not only play a significant part in the major events of their times but who would also become key historians of the events in which they participated. One was Sir Winston Churchill who, as historian David Reynolds has pointed out, waged the Second World War twice over – as prime minister, steering his country to victory from 1940 to 1945, and as the conflict’s principal historian, with six volumes of memoirs published over the subsequent decade. The second man was Churchill’s close friend and colleague, Max Aitken, Lord Beaverbrook, press proprietor, politician, Cabinet minister and a dynamic force in British affairs for some 60 years.