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A Journey Hardcover – 2 Sep 2010


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 718 pages
  • Publisher: Hutchinson; 1st edition (2 Sept. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 009192555X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091925550
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 4.6 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (215 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 88,265 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

Written in a congenial style peppered with slang and gossipy asides. At one moment he is the bloke in the pub. The next, he is Churchill. --Ben MacIntyre, The Times

This is a more honest political memoir than most and more open in many respects than I had anticipated. He is compellingly candid about how scared he was when he first became prime minister . . . He is unusually direct about his calculations, even when they don't reflect well on him . . . He admits to stretching the truth beyond 'breaking point' to secure a settlement in Northern Ireland. Even when the lies are told in a noble cause, few politicians are honest enough to admit that they sometimes feel compelled to be deceivers. --Andrew Rawnsley, Observer

I have read many a prime ministerial memoir and none of the other authors has been as self-deprecating, as willing to admit mistakes and to tell jokes against themselves --Mary Ann Sieghart, Independent

Book Description

The memoirs of Tony Blair - a worldwide publishing sensation --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

168 of 192 people found the following review helpful By Dan Adams on 3 Dec. 2010
Format: Hardcover
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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By Red on Black TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 2 Sept. 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.
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By pearl on 11 April 2015
Format: Paperback
Tony Blair is, was, the most formidable British politician perhaps since Walpole. He would even edge out Churchill because he was both a war leader and he changed the country beyond all recognition.
He is formidable because of course millions of the deluded, the sad, the dreamers, the challenged,the unhappy, the unsuccessful, the naïve, voted for him and thus confirmed him in the only thing that mattered to him, that is, his own view of himself.
He had a genius for reflecting people back to themselves while all the time advancing the agenda of the powers he represents.
No wonder Broadmoor-by-the-Thames worships and adore him - he is the politician's politician, the guy who really did change the agenda.
Just look at that war record. For generations, UK policy was not to get involved east of Suez. But Mr. Blair upends that in a few years and gets a real war in the Middle East going. Wow. I mean there is real change. You could even be a prime minister and still not get to create real destruction and mayhem like that.
Clearly,he is someone not to be underestimated, and time and again voters fell for him beguiled by his fluency and smiles.
Mr. Blair assures us that there is indeed cyanide in the cake but it's not in all the cake, so it's really quite safe to eat a slice.
Sure, Tony.
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44 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Mr. R. Englander on 30 Jan. 2011
Format: Paperback
A Journey is the autobiographical account of his time in office by Tony Blair. It's difficult to be objective about a review without your political persuasion getting in the way, but I will try.

For the purposes of transparency, I should state that I didn't vote Labour but I will try, as I said, to be objective.

Firstly, I would recommend this book. I think it gives a valuable insight into the trappings of power, the workings of parliament, the numerous (and diverse) challenges that challenge today's modern politician and indeed, Prime Minister.

The book itself is lengthy, and gives fairly detailed accounts of the key issues that challenged Mr. Blair during his presidency leadership of both the Labour Party and the country. Iraq, Afghanistan, New Labour, Gordon Brown, Fuel Crisis, Irish Peace Talks, the odd scandal, Europe, September 11th, Diana, etc. It's all there and reads like a very modern history, and serves as a good reminder about how much occurred during his leadership.

His writing style is almost conversational, as you might expect if he was recounting verbally to you, which I quite enjoyed and found accessible. It certainly help through some of the longer winded (and to me) less interesting phases of the book.

This review is meant to be a quick review so I am going to cut to the quick with my summation.

In my view he never really answers the Iraq question. His reasons for invading still don't appear to justify it (from a "legal" perspective) but what is clear and I believe is sincere, is the toll the losses from conflict have taken on him mentally. I truly do.

The Tony Blair / Gordon Brown piece, well this is his side.
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