Publisher: Pan Macmillan
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'First Among Equals' is a 1984 novel by British author Jeffrey Archer, that follows the careers and personal lives of four British politicians (Simon Kerslake, MP for Coventry Central; Charles Seymour, MP for Sussex Downs; Raymond Gould, MP for Leeds North; and Andrew Fraser, MP for Edinburgh Carlton) from 1964 to 1991, each vying to become Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Several situations in the novel are drawn from the author's own early political career in the British House of Commons, and the fictional characters interact with actual British politicians of the day, including Winston Churchill, Alec Douglas-Home, Harold Wilson, Edward Heath, Margaret Thatcher, and others, including Douglas Hurd, Colonel Gadaffi, Gary Hart and Queen Elizabeth II.
The title is a literal translation of the Latin term Primus inter pares, a term used to refer to either the most senior member of a group of equals (peers) or to refer to someone who claims to be just one member of a group of equals when in reality he or she completely dominates said group. This phrase is used to describe the official constitutional status of the British Prime Minister within his Cabinet.
Maarten Oldenhof said on Apr 05, 2010, 14:40
This book is indeed the best novel I have never read. I am sure that it is even better than the "Romances of the three kingdoms" in describing the struggling between individual politicans. More importantly, it taught me a very important lesson.
All of the four characters of the novel are all graduated from prestigious universities like Oxford or Edinburgh. Every characters carried a major post during their school time and all seems to have a bright future. However magnificent or brilliant their life turned out to be at last, all of them started their careet in a very humble way. They didn't know where their dream begin but they knew where it's end. All of them are aspirated and determined to be the highest officer in Her's Majesty government, the Prime Minister. And they were willing to sarcrifice anythings for the post. They all started their political career as the member of parliament. There were numerous rise and fall during their career. But they never gave up as they were so determined and so motivated in achieving their own dream and willing to play for the highest stakes of all.
Brianho2006 said on May 14, 2009, 15:13
An excellent novel on politics! Much like real politics, the novel is full of surprise. The author, once being an MP and the deputy chairman of the Tory, have filled the novel with details on how the House of Commons works, their glorious tradition and their hideous limitations. Anyway it is a thrilling novel which anyone interested in politics should not miss!
林木森 said on May 24, 2007, 08:14