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As It Seemed To Me: Political Memoirs [Paperback]

John Cole
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

4 Mar 1996
John Cole has had a ringside seat on the British public life for the past 40 years.During that time he kept notes of his conversations with politicians,but he is now free of the constraints that the need for both brevity and balance imposedwhen he was BBc Political Editor.He is now free to tell tales from inside the Cabinet Room.His cast includes every PrimeMinister since Harold Wilson,every leader of the opposition and many others besides.He also dips further into memory to record a youthful encounter with Clement Attlee,the last British Prime Minister to cross the Irish border withoput a police guard.AS IT SEEMED TO ME is full of revealing stories about our politicians from the best known political commentator of recent times.

Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Phoenix; New edition edition (4 Mar 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857994256
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857994254
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 12.8 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 326,865 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

John Cole was Political Editor of the BBC. Previously a newspaper journalist, he served on the Guardian and rose to be deputy editor of The Observer. He is married with four sons.

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Beautiful English that makes me wish I had paid attention at School. For those of us who lost track of history after Henry VIII this is is an amazing book. Post war history through to the demise of Mrs Thatcher seen from the eyes of a journalist who was respected by all. Names like Crossland and Jenkins leap from the pages as fully three dimensional politicians. There is no need for a trendy podcast as his strong Irish accent almost reads the book to you as the pages turn. For those of us who never understood the conflict in Northern Ireland this book puts a whole new light on the deep issues that drove the province to the edge of civil war. - Essential reading even if politics is not your thing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Life At The Cole Face 24 Dec 2012
'As It Seemed To Me' is a pleasant memoir by former Political Editor of the BBC, John Cole. Who can forget that Northern Irish accent from BBC news reports back in the 1980s and early 1990s? Cole's voice was legendary and is seared into my memory, however what I cannot recall is anything particularly notable that he reported or did. Maybe that should reflect positively on him, in that he was just doing his job as a professional broadcaster: letting the facts and events take centre-stage rather than himself. Certainly, he never came across to me as a particularly probing journalist in the same sense of a Nick Robinson or a Michael Crick, or a Jeremy Paxman.

I have the impression that some journalists do take a 'quiet' approach to their role, relying on affability with politicians and other subjects rather than forensic acuity. David Frost is perhaps another example of the gentle style of broadcaster and interviewer. Cole was a moderate, inoffensive journalist, perhaps a little dull and conventional, and consequently while this is an agreeable, cultivated book, it is not very impactful. Cole manages to be good-natured and constructive in his assessments of almost all the politicians he encounters, but without being obsequious. Reading this carefully, you can tell that Cole leans to the left politically (in fact, I found out more recently that he identifies with the Labour Party and is also a republican), but like any good journalist of the 'old school', he is subtle and does not burden us too heavily with his own views and opinions.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb! 13 Jan 2003
One of my all time favourite reads - the lettering on the front cover of my copy has been worn away, it's been re-read so many times.
Full of fascinating insights into the characters & events in British politics & journalism over decades.
Buy it - you really won't regret it.
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