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Watch – In conversation with John Preston

25 February 2022

Lennox Morrison interviews John Preston about his book Fall: The Mystery of Robert Maxwell.

John Preston

This was an exclusive live event for Saga customers, recorded in July 2021. Experience it again below.

Fall: The Mystery of Robert Maxwell

Maxwell was the embodiment of Britain's post-war boom. Born an Orthodox Jew, he had escaped the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia, fought in World War 2, and was decorated for his heroism with the Military Cross. He went on to become a Labour MP and an astonishingly successful businessman, owning a number of newspapers and publishing companies. But on his death, his empire fell apart, as long-hidden debts and unscrupulous dealings came to light. Within a few days, Maxwell was being reviled as the embodiment of greed and corruption. No one had ever fallen so far and so quickly.

What went so wrong? How did a war hero and model of society who laid such store on the importance of ethics and good behaviour become so reduced? In this gripping book, winner of the Best Biography category in the 2021 Costa Book Awards, John Preston delivers the definitive account of Maxwell's extraordinary rise and scandalous fall.

‘This is the best biography yet of the media magnate Robert Maxwell - by turns engrossing, amusing and appalling.’
Robert Harris, Sunday Times

About John Preston

John Preston is a former Arts Editor of the Evening Standard and the Sunday Telegraph. For ten years he was the Sunday Telegraph’s television critic and one of its chief feature writers. His most recent book, A Very English Scandal, was published to great acclaim in 2016 and turned into a BAFTA-winning BBC drama series. His 2007 historical novel The Dig has been adapted into a new major motion picture starring Ralph Fiennes, Carey Mulligan and Lily James and directed by Simon Stone.

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