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A Journey

A Journey [Kindle Edition]

Tony Blair
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (198 customer reviews)

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"Much, much better than the book ... for getting the full-on Blair effect!" (Kati Nicholl Daily Express)

"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)

"...he rolls out a formidable account of the exercise of power, more revealing of the leader than the man'" (The Telegraph)


A "Financial Times" Best Book
Shortlisted for the Galaxy National Book Awards - Tesco Biography of the Year
"You cannot help but commiserate, for this is a man (unlike some other world leaders) who has clearly grappled with his conscience. . . . Engaging."
"--The Globe and Mail"
"I cannot recall a previous memoir by a head of state that is intellectually and emotionally engaging on so many pages."
"--The Christian Science Monitor"
" "
"Engrossing. . . . Blair writes honestly and openly. . . . It is breezy, informal and candid enough to keep the reader thoroughly engaged. . . . Blair is admirably frank and tough-minded."
"--The New York Times Book Review"
"A hugely entertaining read.... All very Blair, all very British."
--"The Wall Street Journal"
"A Journey is first and foremost a political biography, and... Feelings, authenticity and emotional intelligence are qualities thatt

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Tony Blair - The Road to nowhere 2 Sep 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
"I was middle class and my politics in were in many ways middle class". This admission by Tony Blair early in his memoirs "A Journey" may not seem radical but are in many ways the fundamental underpinning of the new labour revolution. Whether you agree or not with the transformation of Labour achieved by a small political elite, Blair took a party that was a political irrelevance and attempted to turn it into a modern market based social democratic party based on the principles of social mobility, aspiration and wealth accumulation. These were values of what he describes as a "very tightly knit group" and yet he and colleagues like Peter Mandelson were able to strike a Faustian pact with a demoralised Labour party which was essentially a trade off between the abandonment of core values against the delivery and maintenance of power. In "A Journey" Blair recognises that one of his key skills is as a "manipulator", but even he was surprised at the total victory he achieved and its political success. Thus the history books do not lie when they point to him as Labour's most successful Prime Minister and master politician. But he is one who in his own distinct way is as historically problematic as some of his troublesome forebears and hence the reluctance of the current labour leadership contenders to embrace his legacy.

It may well be that living in a world conditioned by the Freedom of Information act (which Blair now bitterly regrets "I quake at the imbecility of it") that we are seeing the internal machinations of government properly exposed. And yet for the ordinary voter one of the bitter after tastes left from the shiny early promise of New Labour is that we all were subjected to some of the worse excesses of truth bending, spin, media manipulation and outright falsification.
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162 of 185 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Genuinely fascinating 3 Dec 2010
I have never liked Tony Blair, never liked Labour and marched against the War. I bought this book from a desire understand why Labour and particularly Tony Blair governed as they did. I could not put the book down and found it genuinely fascinating both as an insight into politics and also the role of the prime minister in modern Britain. Blair is very different from the man I was expecting and a far better man than I would have guessed. Although still against the war, he had by the end convinced me there was an argument both ways. Whilst I consider myself objective, I admit I felt a bit of shame that I definitely fell into the camp that has allowed itself to be led by media opinion of individuals rather than seriously considering a politicians argument on its merits. His reflection on the negative way the media influences politics and public opinion is spot on and this really must change. A lot of reviewers have criticised the personal style the book is written in and in normal circumstances I might agree. However A journey is such a good read that this becomes irrelevant and actually really helps to get inside the mind of a man who is making decisions with historic and grave consequences every day. The analysis of the relationships within the Labour Party is also particularly intriguing. Most of the negative reviews on this site do seem to come at the book with an agenda and also I suspect have not read the entire book or even some of it. Certainly for me it has changed my whole perspective of the New Labour years and its principle architects and is more informative than one hundred second-rate history books on the subject. To sum up, if you have any serious interest in Great Britain and Northern Ireland and its future, this is a book that should definitely be read.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Valuable insights 6 Jun 2011
By anozama
What you get from this book will depend greatly on your opinion of its author. I will state my own position: I was a strong admirer of Tony Blair's leadership. I admired his work on reforming the public sector; and I thought the decision to invade Iraq was controversial, but not necessarily wrong.

The book itself portrays Blair in ways that are good, bad, and indifferent.

The good: I found Blair's account of Iraq well worth reading. I also found very interesting his depiction of the politics of implementing (with great conviction), a social democratic reform programme. Other valuable insights are his informative observations about the difficulties of European politics, and his pessimism over the future of the left, `after' social democracy. On all these matters I felt Blair came over as authentic and plausible.

The indifferent: Notable of course is his relationship with Gordon Brown , slightly to his left. This was initially demanding, then dysfunctional, and finally broken down. Blair describes how towards the end he became distinctly (I would say over-)confident, and virtually stopped listening or attempting to negotiate a consensus. Also noteworthy is his depiction of how he effectively drifted to the right in the later stages, while becoming at the same time less liberal.

The bad: The first lay in the descriptions of peoples' motivations. Blair recurrently reveals a lack of depth and sophistication in his understanding of human psychology. For example, he repeatedly describes a like of `passionate' people - IMHO naively overrating overassertiveness, seemingly oblivious to its cost.

Secondly, for all his capacity to thoroughly understand situations, Blair's described motivations often seem somewhat hot headed.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Tony Blair's Journey
Bought as a present, could think of better reading
Published 4 days ago by Jeff Brookes
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great man perfect leadership and ex pm
Published 18 days ago by RKD
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Although a supporter of TB, I found his style just way too wordy.
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Read for the broader picture
Well he does believe he's a God but you'll learn something about the Labour Party, the issues of the time, obviously Iraq, and about politics in general.
Published 2 months ago by warriorz
2.0 out of 5 stars nothing exciting
Tony Blair fan. But it feels like an attempt to justify his record rather than a biography.
End of party by Andrew rawnsly is better
Published 4 months ago by nb
1.0 out of 5 stars How a racist war criminal and mass murder became filthy rich
The great British Butcher Blair is at it again, warning the West about "Islamic extremism". Instead of paying for his war crimes, this mass murderer is allowed to masquerade as a... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Canopus72
5.0 out of 5 stars An eye opener into the government
An eye opener into how our fascinating country is run. A general good read. Tony Blair is clearly a very intelligent man.
Published 4 months ago by Rumple
5.0 out of 5 stars A man who stands by his believe
It is good to hear from the man directly, but he still believe that he is right and over 80% of the world is wrong. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Isaac
1.0 out of 5 stars Rubbish. Don't waste your money
Big disappointment. I expected so much more. Very poorly written in comparison with others I have read by Peter Mandelson and Alistair Darling for example.
Published 6 months ago by William Rendle
4.0 out of 5 stars A revealing journey into the thoughts that drove one of the UK's best...
Love him or not Tony Blair had a massive influence on the lives of British people. In this book he provides his perspective and at times the governing thoughts behind some of the... Read more
Published 6 months ago by OC
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