Alec Douglas-Home, who died in October 1995, was a member of every Conservative administration from 1935 to 1974. At his death he was the oldest survivor of the pre-war House of Commons, a service of Gladstonian length. This biography examines the many events in which he was involved, including Munich, Suez, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Rhodesian rebellion, and the Tory leadership struggles over 20 years. It is based on exclusive access to the private papers at the Hirsal. The study provides a comprehensive portrait of a turbulent era in recent world history, and of a man who was described by Margaret Thatcher as representing all that was best in his generation .