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A Journey by Tony Blair
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A Journey (2010)

by Tony Blair

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Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
Decidedly mixed book about Tony Blair's time as Prime Minister of Great Britain. A lot of people hate him for what he did to Labour (or for bringing the party into power...), for Iraq or just in general. I sincerely doubt this book will do much to change their minds.

The book is mostly framed during his time at No. 10 Downing Street, with glimpses of his time before and after. Most chapters look at single events (Labour coming into power, the death of Princess Diana, etc.) Some events or stories take much more space (the lead up to and the Iraq war, plus the aftermath) in more or less chronological order.

The reading was really mixed. Some chapters really captured me (like finding out what to do when Princess Diana was near death and then dead, plus how Blair handed the media scrutiny afterwards), but others, such as the ones on the Iraq invasion was incredibly tedious to read. I wanted to know WHY. I wanted to know HOW he came to the conclusions he did, and why on earth did he believe in George W. Bush so, despite having hindsight when he wrote the book. The answers remain opaque to me, and I honestly wonder if he was surrounded by too many media spinners during his time as PM. He doesn't seem to have any regrets, not all that much introspection about it.

There isn't much gossip about other political (or personal) figures, such as say Gordon Brown or George W. Bush. I get the distinct sense he may have restrained himself a bit here and there, but he does discuss (in a positive way) about figures such as John Prescott, while acknowledging not everyone saw people like Bush or Prescott the way Blair does himself. There are some truly amusing stories, such as insults about British food at a G-8 meeting and British people regaling Blair with stories about their escapades in drinking (done after Blair's son Euan is arrested for being drunk in public).

I've actually had this book for a few years and decided to read it in light of the allegations he had an affair with Rupert Murdoch's former wife Wendi Deng and that Blair offered to advice certain former employees of Murdoch regarding the phone hacking scandal in the UK. I am no expert in British politics but I would say it's helpful to have a working knowledge of their system as well as having some knowledge of some of the major players (ie Gordon Brown, George W. Bush, etc and their relationships to Blair.) It was interesting to slog through but if I had to buy it again I'd do bargain or with a coupon. Recommend the library or bargain bin. ( )
  acciolibros | Feb 11, 2018 |
Available

Tony Blair's own account of his political life, his rise to power, his life on the world stage, and the clashes, controversies and triumphs of one of the most successful political careers of modern times.
  pakeurobooks | Oct 19, 2016 |
At first, this was a bit dry because I am not very familiar with British political system, but as it went on into events that I do remember, I found I really enjoyed Blair's narrative. ( )
  Jen.ODriscoll.Lemon | Jan 22, 2016 |
At first, this was a bit dry because I am not very familiar with British political system, but as it went on into events that I do remember, I found I really enjoyed Blair's narrative. ( )
  Jen.ODriscoll.Lemon | Jan 22, 2016 |
As political memoir, Blair's book is better than most. There's the inevitable self-justification of course, but no more than is reasonable, and whether you agree with his policies or not, it's hard not to accept that he surely did his best. The book was as it's most interesting as he reflected on what had been. The final chapters, which look forward as much as back, are much weaker, perhaps because the self-confidence is stronger (strangely, Blair seems to find it easier to be sure about the future than the past). Nonetheless, it remains a 'must-read' if only to try and understand the huge influence that Blair's premiership has been on all of us. ( )
  markbarnes | Feb 11, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
När Tony Blair summerar sin politiska karriär berättar han öppet och energiskt om maktspelet i Labourpartiet och sina alkoholvanor. Svårare får han att förklara invasionen i Irak. Maria Schottenius har läst Blairs memoarer.
 
But since that is what he thinks, he is right to say it. The book is redeemed by such truths. Blair has a world view and is unafraid to describe it, bigger and bolder than anyone else. You can say he was mad. You can say he was a flawed genius. But you can't say he didn't matter.
 
By fighting so hard to transform his party, whether from genuine conviction or pragmatic calculation, Mr. Blair achieved, he believes, the long-sought aim of making Labour the "natural party of governance." "A Journey" provides a priceless glimpse into the mind of the man who devoted himself to that transformation—and who stood by America in some of its darkest recent hours.
 
All these years and political miles later, the man — hailed by The Observer as “one of the most electorally successful and effective party leaders of all time” — remains a curiously opaque figure. And the self-portrait that emerges from his new memoir, “A Journey: My Political Life,” is very much that of a man without a shadow.
 
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To Cherie, Euan, Nicholas, Kathryn and Leo and my wider family who have shared the journey with me.
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I wanted this book to be different from the traditional political memoir. [Introduction].

On 2 May 1997, I walked into Downing Street as prime minister for the first time. [Chapter One]
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307269833, Hardcover)

Tony Blair is a politician who defines our times. His emergence as Labour Party 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 eighteen years of Conservative government. He took Labour to a historic three terms in office as Britain’s dominant political figure of the last two decades.

A Journey
is Tony Blair’s firsthand 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 including Gordon Brown, the grueling negotiations for peace in Northern Ireland, the implementation of the biggest reforms to public services in Britain since 1945, and his relationships with leaders on the world stage—Nelson Mandela, Bill Clinton, Vladimir Putin, George W. Bush. He analyzes 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 the ramifications of standing up, clearly and forcefully, for what one believes in. He also looks ahead, to emerging power relationships and economies, addressing the vital issues and complexities of our global world.

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. Here, uniquely, we have his own journey, in his own words.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:32 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Tony Blair is a politician who defines our times. His emergence as Labour Party 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 eighteen years of Conservative government. He took Labour to a historic three terms in office as Britain's dominant political figure of the last two decades. In this firsthand account, he describes his role in shaping our recent history, from the aftermath of Princess Diana's death to the War on Terror. He explores the challenges of leadership, and the ramifications of standing up, clearly and forcefully, for what one believes in. He also looks ahead, to emerging power relationships and economies, addressing the vital issues and complexities of our global world.--From publisher description.… (more)

» see all 7 descriptions

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