Brought to Book

Written by David Ward MP on 17 December 2010 in Culture
Liberal Democrat MP David Ward reveals his literary tastes

My favourite book is The Nature of Prejudice by Gordon W Allport. It is a brilliant analysis of the causes of prejudice and the conditions that need to exist for the positive ‘contacts' that can break down the barriers between people who are different.

What is your favourite holiday book?
Holidays? Don't be silly.

What is your favourite political biography?
I must have read nearly all there is to read about Churchill. He is a man with huge flaws and at times unpleasant prejudices and behaviours. But he was also a man with breathtaking courage, intelligence, stamina and compassion.

What was your favourite book as a child?
My favourite children's book was Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. It echoes my idyllic childhood climbing trees, swimming in rivers, playing in gangs back in the days when gangs just played games and hated no one else.

What is your least favourite book?
I wouldn't read a book I didn't like or think I would find interesting. I may disagree with the content of a book but would still try to gain something from it.

Name a significant book that was published in the last 10 years?
For me the most significant book in the last 10 years is The Spirit Level by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett. It is a book that helps to explain why, on a national basis, greater equality benefits all and not just the least well off.

Which literary character would you most like to be?
I would be Alf Tupper from The Tough of the Track - he is a working class hero who ate fi sh and chips on the way to the White City where he took on and beat the world.

What was the most inspiring book you have ever read?
Thomas Clarkson: A Biography by Ellen Gibson Wilson. Although it is William Wilberforce who is remembered, it was the Quaker, Thomas Clarkson, who collected, at huge personal cost, the evidence that brought an end to slavery. He was a truly remarkable human being.

David Ward is the Liberal Democrat MP for Bradford East

Tags: Brought to book, David Ward, Issue 31, Liberal Democrat

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