Beard’s Sad Little Men addresses debates about privilege and the problem with putting men from boarding schools into positions of influence, including No.10. This is not a jolly story about japes at university. It’s a story of a group of Tory politicians – overwhelmingly men – who took an ancient route through Oxford to power, and how they reshaped the country in their image. Eleven of the 15 post-war British prime ministers went to Oxford. In Chums, Simon Kuper traces how the rarefied and privileged atmosphere of this narrowest of talent pools has influenced modern Britain.
Richard Beard is author of Acts of the Assassins. Simon Kuper is a Financial Times journalist, author of The Happy Traitor.