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.
"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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flawed, but fascinating
An Honest, Frank and Personal Journey...