Time to Declare


Owen, David

15/10/2009 | Paperback |

ISBN: 9781842752364

About Time to Declare

In 1991 David Owen published Time to Declare, following it four years later with Balkan Odyssey.

This edition distills the best from both books to provide a gripping autobiographical account.

It covers his childhood and student years; his time as a young doctor and his election to Parliament; his appointment as a junior minister and then as the youngest ever Foreign Secretary; his audacious attempt to 'break the mould' of two-party politics with the formation of the SDP; and his tireless striving as European negotiator to bring peace to the former Yugoslavia.  

Revised and updated, this book reminds us that David Owen was one of the most compelling and controversial figures in twentieth century British politics and it is a fitting addition to the Great Statesmen Series.


David Owen

David Owen (Lord Owen) trained and practised as a medical doctor before being elected a Labour MP in his home city of Plymouth. He served as Foreign Secretary under James Callaghan from 1977 until 1979. He co-founded and went on to lead the Social Democratic Party (SDP), and is now a Crossbencher in the Lords. Among many books, he is the author of In Sickness and In Power - Illness in Heads of Government during the last 100 years, The Hubris Syndrome, Balkan Odyssey, a powerful autobiography, Time to Declare, the updated edition of which was published as part of Politico's Great Statesmen Series in August 2009, and a poetry anthology, Seven Ages.

David Owen is the author of a number of books on political subjects including The Hubris Syndrome (Methuen) and In Sickness and In Power (Methuen), both in-depth studies of the health of leaders in governments and the impact of illness on their effectiveness in office. He served as a Labour Party Member of Parliament for twenty-six years during which time he was Health Minister (1974–76) under Harold Wilson and Foreign Secretary (1976–79) under James Callaghan. He left the Labour Party when, under Michael Foot’s leadership, it lurched too far to the left. David Owen was one of the ‘Gang of Four’ to found the Social Democratic Party in 1983, which he led on two separate occasions. In 1992 David Owen was created a Life Peer and now sits as an independent social democrat in the House of Lords. Before entering Parliament, Lord Owen trained as a medical doctor at St Thomas’s Hospital, London, where he was Clinical Neurologist and Psychiatric Registrar. He has championed the NHS throughout its existence and is now a powerful advocate for its reinstatement to its original purpose.


'An essential source for anyone interested in British politics from early Wilson to early Major. Dr Owen is good on people. His Wilson is particularly convincing'

The Sunday Telegraph on Time to Declare


'Shrewd, original and well-written'

Independent on Sunday on Time to Declare


'Important and revealing ... a tremendous resource'

The Sunday Times on Balkan Odyssey

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