This is the first volume of a major two-volume biography of Neville Chamberlain (1869-1940), which matches his ample collection of private papers against the public records, and brings in from other collections of papers letters written to or by Chamberlain. This first volume tells the story of the first sixty years of Chamberlain's life. As well as his role in national politics, it covers his endeavours to prove himself in a different sphere by building up his business concerns in Birmingham, and through service to the city. Chamberlain's family letters and diaries are freely drawn upon. There is much material about Chamberlain's personal relations with his half-brother Austen, Lloyd George, Baldwin and Churchill. Chamberlain is revealed as a figure of wide culture, many international connections, and much reserve in his personal dealings, but with astonishing energy and resourcefulness in administration and boldness in policy.