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Therip-roaring and hilarious memoir from Stanley Johnson—the father of London mayor Boris Johnson—begins with a loud bang whenStanley's father, an RAF pilot in World War II, crash-lands a Wellington bomber on a Devon airfield. A few years later Stanley's parents buy a sheep farm on nearby Exmoor, where Stanley does much of his growing up. Stanley would...
Therip-roaring and hilarious memoir from Stanley Johnson—the father of London mayor Boris Johnson—begins with a loud bang whenStanley's father, an RAF pilot in World War II, crash-lands a Wellington bomber on a Devon airfield. A few years later Stanley's parents buy a sheep farm on nearby Exmoor, where Stanley does much of his growing up. Stanley would keep his links with this much-loved rural idyll throughout his life—while going on to become an explorer, author, occasional politician, and also one of the world's first environmentalists. A sparkling raconteur and experienced thriller writer, in Stanleytellsgreat stories in great style. On leaving school in 1958 Stanley traveled alone through South America—hitching rides across the jungle on Brazilian Air Force planes—and shortly afterwards he rode a motorcycle 4,000 miles from London to Afghanistan, tracing the route of Marco Polo with two friends. After winning Oxford University's poetry prize with a love poem—written following a hilltop tryst in the West Country—Stanley went on to do various adventurous jobs, before working for the billionaire John D. Rockefeller III, the World Bank, the United Nations, and the European Union. Stanley married and started a family young—Boris was born in New York when his father was 23—and while Boris would go on to become big news, the family's forbears also provide quite a story, as Stanley finds out. For the Johnson family's roots are not just in the West Country, but in Turkey too—where, as Stanley discovers, his politician grandfather Ali Kemal was torn to pieces by an angry mob. Stanley visits a Turkish village where the locals are blonde—later he learns that he and Boris are direct descendants of George II.
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