Posted on 6 November 2015
Helgard Krause, Tony Ball, Kenneth O Morgan and Lord Neil Kinnock
In his revealing memoir, published in the year of his eightieth birthday, Kenneth O. Morgan reflects on marriage and bereavement, on re-marriage, parenthood, friendship, religion and morality, his reactions to the historical changes he has witnessed, from attending a village school in rural Wales and wartime air-raids, through school in Hampstead and study in Oxford University and in Wales, down to entry into the House of Lords. Despite past traumas, this memoir still conveys invigoratingly a senior scholar’s idealism, abiding sense of optimism and belief in progress.
Published by the University of Wales Press (UWP) and officially launched on the 22nd of October at the Reform Club in London, a large audience attended the much anticipated event with speakers including Tony Ball, chairman of the University of Wales Press, and Lord Neil Kinnock, who provided the evening’s entertainment, regaling the crowd with witty anecdotes of how the two became friends and describing Kenneth O. Morgan as "the most penetrating labour historian of all time".
To close, Kenneth O. Morgan said a moving thank you to friends and family for their love and support throughout his long career and especially at times of grief in his life. He also thanked UWP for publishing his autobiography, half a century after the publication of his first UWP book. As he writes in the Foreword: “after fifty-two years with our national press, I know I am with the almost perfect publishers”.
During his long career, Kenneth O. Morgan has been a prolific writer and, through his pioneering work, has become a leading authority on Welsh History, British History and Labour History.
As well as the story of his life, professional achievements and personal background, this autobiography also details Kenneth O. Morgan’s often entertaining and unconventional personal experiences, and the eminent people he has met along the way – from his work in television, radio and the press as election commentator and book reviewer, to his involvement in the Labour Party from the late 1950s onwards and the close relations he developed with such Labour leaders as James Callaghan, Michael Foot, Douglas Jay and Neil Kinnock.
In addition to being a respected author, Kenneth O. Morgan has held the position of University Vice-Chancellor in Wales, is an active Labour peer, and continues to lecture at universities around the world.
Kenneth O. Morgan: My Histories by Kenneth. O. Morgan (University of Wales Press, September 2015)
£24.99 • HB • 9781783163236 • 156mm x 234mm• 320pp