I have written and/or edited a number of books:
The Course of My Life (1998) by Sir Edward Heath - my name did not appear on the cover, but, as an enthusiastic and multi-tasking neophyte, I did most of the research and almost all of the writing and editing for this award-winning autobiography.
Towards the Sound of Gunfire (2001) - the first biography of the former Liberal leader Jo Grimond.
Find it on Amazon
The Blue Book on Transport (2002) - a collection of essays about possible transport policies for the Conservative Party.
Find it on Amazon
Still Getting Away With It (2005) - a biography of my dear friend, the actor Nicholas Courtney, who died in 2011 at the age of 81. www.greyhoundleader.com
Tory Pride and Prejudice (2011) - an historical account of the history of the attitudes and policies of the Conservative Party towards LGBT people.
Portrait Gallery by Edward Greenfield (2014) – a collection of anecdotes, reflections and analysis by the distinguished music critic and journalist Ted Greenfield. I persuaded Ted to publish the book and then voluntarily undertook all the necessary editing and research to bring it into “publishable” shape.
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Sir Edward Heath: A Singular Life (2016) - an acclaimed collection of essays, tributes and anecdotes about the former Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath, giving a candid and intimate account of the life and times of this most enigmatic of characters. It contains first-hand contributions from around eighty of the people who knew Heath best, at all stages of his long and varied life. This was published in July 2016 by Elliott and Thompson Books, marking the anniversary of Heath's birth.
Praise for Edward Heath: A Singular Life:
‘Edward Heath: A Singular Life is not a narrative history of Heath’s times, nor does it set out to replace the pre-eminent biographies. McManus attempts, and achieves, something different: an assessment of Heath’s motivation and psychology. Since Heath deliberately built around himself a carapace thicker than a rhinoceros’s hide to protect his privacy and rebuff intimacy, perhaps especially sexual intimacy, this is no easy task. McManus writes it very well. Movingly, and often comically, he tells the story of his own complicated relationship with Heath, whom he cannot quite bring himself to say he liked. The skill he demonstrates is closer to that of a novelist or portrait painter than that of a journalist.’
William Waldegrave, Daily Telegraph *****
‘In this lucid, often amusing, compilation of anecdotes and insights, McManus captures extremely well what a strange and self-contained man Heath was ... McManus's book is far from a hagiography; precisely because he worked for Heath for many years, he is admirably clear-sighted about his employer's monumental insensitivity and self-absorption.’
Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times
‘Heath was, by all accounts, a difficult and troubled man. The main virtue of this book is the portrait of him that emerges like a bust coming out of marble ... It’s an odd book but a strangely enjoyable one because of its maddening, mysterious subject.’
Philip Collins, Prospect magazine
I have also produced, or contributed to, a number of films. Three were made as special features for BBC DVDs.
The first of these was 'Magna Carta', accompanying the Doctor Who story “The King’s Demons” (Find it on Amazon) ; the second was 'Music Hall', which cast light upon the demi monde within which most of the classic Doctor Who tale “The Talons of Weng Chiang” was set (Find it on Amazon) ; and the third was a stand-alone film biography of my good chum, the actor Nicholas Courtney (Find it on Amazon)
I also made a half-hour film to accompany my most recent book, with some rather splendid narration from Tom Baker. One day I shall put it onto YouTube. For now, however, I’ll simply mail it on DVD to anyone who asks.
I wrote the script for a four-hour professional training film about crisis management, based upon my own, personal experience, which I duly presented to camera.
photograph by Robyn Thackara
Books and films.