Isaac Foot led a life almost unimaginable to us today in its fullness and variety. Born in Plymouth, he was a radical and uncompromising Liberal MP, a Methodist preacher, an eloquent orator and lawyer, a lover of life and literature, a unique collector of books, a true Westcountryman and a great family man, lovingly married, first to Eva and then after her death to Kitty, and the father of five sons and two daughters. This volume has been collected and edited by his son Michael and one of his ten grandchildren, Alison Highet, from the immense collection of papers, letters, articles, sermons and family memorabilia that Isaac Foot left behind.
The book covers Isaac's early years in Plymouth; his courtship of Eva; his family life; his work as a lawyer; his many election campaigns and his time as Liberal MP for Bodmin; his Methodism, his preaching and his leading role in the Free Church movement; his pledge to teetotalism and his leadership of the temperance cause; his strong opposition to the British government policy of appeasement before the Second World War; the wartime years, especially his tour of America in 1943 to win support for the British war effort; the post-war years as Lord Mayor of Plymouth; his love of reading and of history, with particular interest in the seventeenth century and Oliver Cromwell; and the accumulation of one of the greatest ever private libraries, which filled his family home to overflowing and is now housed at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Michael Foot is one of the outstanding politicians of the twentieth century, a former leader of the Labour Party and a great orator. He was also one of the finest political writers of the age; his biographies of Aneuran Bevan and H. G. Wells won him massive acclaim, but it is an essayist that he remains in a class of his own. Alison Highet, his niece, has trawled though the vast range of material left by her grandfather Isaac, edited it and provided important linking passages from members of his family.