Can there be friendship at the top? The author of Burying Caesar and The History of the Times: The Murdoch Years, Graham Stewart here explores the fragility of personal relationships in public life, pointing out that "great leaders usually find that when they reach the summit they are alone." He charts three acute examples in detail: the future Queen Anne and Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough, in Restoration England; Ben Franklin and his political partner Joseph Galloway in colonial America; and Prime Minister Herbert Henry Asquith and long-time best friend Lord Chancellor Richard Burdon Haldane at the high point of Edwardian Britain.
"The book that MPs have been reading this summer is Graham Stewart's Friendship and Betrayal, a historical look at political ambition and the limits of loyalty. The book highlights political friendships through the ages and makes clear that it was not only Stalin who shafted his friends. Shared experiences and backgrounds, common assumptions and the pleasure derived from another's company, all end up taking second place to climbing the greasy pole."—Daily Telegraph (London)