Eden was Neville Chamberlain's foreign secretary in the 1930s, held the same position under Churchill during World War II and succeeded the latter as prime minister in 1955. Asked by Eden's widow to undertake the project, Jamesa distinguished historian (The British Revolution, etc.) and member of Parliamentwas given access to Eden's private papers, including revealing correspondence with Churchill. The biography sheds new light on Eden's 1938 resignation over Chamberlain's policy of appeasement; his contribution to the 1954 Geneva conference (James argues that Eden virtually single-handedly kept America out of a war in Indochina); and examines the full context of Eden's controversial leadership during the Suez crisis of 1956. A sympathetic but not uncritical portrayal of a complex figure who brought honor and dignity, kindness and loyalty to the often grubby trade of politics. Photos. Major ad/promo; History Book Club selection. Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.