At once an autobiography and a history of the National Health Service.
John Marks is something of a national treasure. Warm, funny, passionate, opinionated and occasionally contrary, he is a man whose life for more than 40 years marched in beat with that of the National Health Service. There is scarcely a medical issue or controversy in which John Marks was not involved. Abortion law reform, the doctors' 1970s revolt against the General Medical Council, the foundation of the Royal College of General Practitioners, countless NHS reorganizations, and the bloody battle over NHS pay beds and the pay of junior doctors are just a sample. Then there was the fierce, principled battle over how the medical profession and the public should respond to the terror of a new disease - AIDS. And the great war that was fought over the Conservatives introduction of market forces into the NHS in the late 1980s and early 1990s - an approach to running the NHS that lives on, reincarnated, under the subsequent Labour government.In all of these John Marks played more than a walk-on part. In many he was a principal actor. For anyone wanting fully to understand the BMA's role in all this, this book is thus required reading. But it is much more than just a dry history of times past. It is laced with anecdote, from the horrifying to the hilarious, and on to high politics. John Marks' account of his life and times provides the tale of a warm, human, liberal and occasionally buccaneering man whose passion for life and causes leaves even those who do not always agree with him eager to count him among their friends.