GREAT BRITAIN: Sure & Easy Hand

"He has succeeded to a somber estate," said London's Tory Daily Mail last January when Harold Macmillan became Britain's Prime Minister. The government left by the ailing Anthony Eden was in disarray, and almost everybody seemed to have reservations about the ability of the 63-year-old publisher with the too-elegant Edwardian manners. He was decried as "a gay amateur," "a political dilettante," "a foppish phrasemaker," or, if praised, praised with fingers crossed. The Tories, seeing their popularity drop in poll after poll, in by-election after by-election, were close to demoralization.

In less than four months in office, Macmillan has wrought...

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