A Journey

  • by Tony Blair
  • Narrated by Tony Blair
  • 16 hrs and 3 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Tony Blair is the politician who defines our times. His emergence as Labour leader in 1994 marked a seismic shift in British politics. Within a few short years, he had transformed his party and rallied the country behind him, becoming prime minister in 1997 with the biggest victory in Labour's history, and bringing to an end 18 years of Conservative government. He took Labour to a historic three terms in office, as the dominant political figure of the last two decades.
A Journey is Tony Blair's first-hand account of his years in office and beyond. Here he describes for the first time his role in shaping our recent history, from the aftermath of Princess Diana's death to the war on terror. He reveals the leadership decisions that were necessary to reinvent his party, the relationships with colleagues such as Gordon Brown and Peter Mandelson, the gruelling negotiations for peace in Northern Ireland, the battles over education and health, the implementation of the biggest reforms to public services since 1945, and his relationships with leaders on the world stage, including Clinton, Putin, and Bush. He analyses the belief in ethical intervention that led to his decisions to go to war, in Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan, and, most controversially of all, in Iraq.
A Journey is a book about the nature and uses of political power. In frank, unflinching, often wry detail, Tony Blair charts the ups and downs of his career to provide insight into the man, as well as the politician and statesman. He explores the challenges of leadership, and explains why he took on public opinion to stand up for what he believed in. Few British prime ministers have shaped the nation's course as profoundly as Tony Blair, and his achievements and his legacy will be debated for years to come. Amid the millions of words written about him, this book is unique: his own journey, in his own words.

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What the Critics Say

"Love Tony Blair or hate him, his own reading... is extremely compelling. The abridgement...omits many of the careless cruelties crowed over by reviewers of the book, and interestingly, Gordon Brown comes out of it remarkably well."(Christina Hardyment, The Times)
"This book will be a fantastic surprise: erratically written, full of self-mythologising vanity and carefully calculated candour, it is also funny, ruthless and unputdownable... Blair clearly relishes the opportunity to tell it as he saw it. After years of minding his PMQs, our former leader gives it to us with both barrels... "(Allison Pearson, Daily Telegraph. 4 Star review)
"Such was the outburst of instant and largely hostile reaction when this book hit the newsstands ...that almost everyone failed to notice that it is very good... it is a very good book because it tells the reader more clearly than any other prime ministerial memoir I know why the author thinks what he things and did what he did."(Charles Moore, Telegraph)
"...in its own way it's brilliant... I have to admit that he has produced one of the most readable and engaging political autobiographies I've ever come across. [it is] very funny, often startling, always colloquial and direct. It is packed with information, vivid images and telling anecdotes... Blair takes you to the centre of the action, to the sweat-stained hyperactive heart of government, where life and death decisions are taken by the day." (Herald Scotland)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

flawed, but fascinating

What a mixture in this book! Just about everyone is agreed on that.

The well-documented flaws are impossible to ignore. In particular, the frequently inappropriately colloquial style - how is that going to read in 10 or 20 years? - and the almost disarmingly omnipresent ego - he says at one point, about something which was really a matter of opinion, 'I thought I was right, and I was' - that seems typical! As for the abysmal depths of his relationship with Gordon Brown, they are almost impossible to credit. However, the editing for the audio editions has left out some of the worst horrors - apparently, notes re lavatory time and others - so listeners have an advantage over readers in that respect.

It is well worth tolerating these drawbacks in order to enjoy the many advantages of the book. Insight into many of the key events of recent history, of course; the chance to hear Tony Blair's account of them and to re-evaluate his character, as one would expect. Along with those, several moments of high comedy - the first weekend at Balmoral, and even a moment of confusion in the Good Friday negotiations reduced me to unexpected stitches of laughter; and a wealth of details about the subsidiary characters and events which are most enjoyable in themselves. The book gathers pace in a very satisfying manner, and it is noticeable that, when he discusses Iraq, the tone becomes more serious and less grating. At the end, you may well feel that, despite the sincerity and honesty of his tone in the major parts of the book, the real Tony Blair remains an enigma; but you will have enjoyed listening to his journey and coming to your conclusion.
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- Margaret

An Honest, Frank and Personal Journey...

As I regularly preach, an autobiography should be read by the writer, and here?s one I?ve been waiting to read for some time now.

I?ve for a long time been an admirer of the former PM - Tony Blair, not for the usual list of political achievements, social reform, or the raft of other identifiable suspects. Nor do I not acknowledge his failings as a leader.

I?ve admired the man for his humanity, geniality integrity and honest straight talking, no nonsense approach. ?What! Is this the same Tony Blair?? I hear you saying, yes its true, not many of us have what it takes to stand up and take the top job, let alone pull it off for as long as he did. Question the choices, investigate the decisions and think it all through for yourself. Nothing can take away from the potency of responsibility at the pinnacle moment of decision and choice. The instinct to make a choice and the level headedness to keep on doing it are incomprehensible to most of us. Yet Tony did it day after day, year on year.

A Journey is Tony?s frank, honest, humorous, warm and uncensored firsthand account of the pivotal moments in his career both before and during his Premiership.

A brilliant listen, well worth the time and a top recommendation to all, like the man or not.
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- Neil

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-09-2010
  • Publisher: Random House Audiobooks