- Hardcover: 337 pages
- Publisher: Atlantic Books; 1st edition (7 Sept. 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0857892797
- ISBN-13: 978-0857892799
- Product Dimensions: 3.8 x 15.9 x 23.5 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (132 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 120,007 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Back from the Brink: 1,000 Days at Number 11 Hardcover – 7 Sep 2011
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More About the Author
...one heck of a good read. --Guardian
...a balanced, thoughtful , sober account of arguably the greatest crisis of the 21st Century... --Mail on Sunday
[Alistair Darling] writes compellingly about the market meltdown and ensuing recession, spicing the narrative with a droll wit and acidic observations about the arrogant and stupid bank chiefs. If this story has been told before, it is still informative to have the scary view from the edge of the precipice as Britain teeters on the brink of a complete collapse of its banks. --Observer --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
About the Author
Alistair Darling is the Member of Parliament for Edinburgh South West. Initially appointed as Chief Secretary to the Treasury in 1997, he moved to become Secretary of State for Work and Pensions in 1998. He spent another four years as Secretary of State for Transport, also becoming Secretary of State for Scotland in 2003. He served as Secretary of State for Trade and Industry in 2006, before Gordon Brown promoted him to Chancellor in 2007.
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Top Customer Reviews
It is refreshing to read a political biography in which the main character was not the only person who realised, the exact situation, from day one, and how it should be handled. Alistair Darling is generous with his praise and quick to acknowledge the input of his colleagues, even when they are not bosom buddies.
Reading this book made me realise just how serious the banking crisis had been. One of the great problems with life today, when news is to hand twenty-four hours a day, is that a news programme needs sensation. Everything becomes the most serious crisis that man has ever faced and, naturally, the listener becomes blasé. Darling's book is written in a much more modest style and so, when he paints a picture of near collapse, it is so much more chilling. The section dealing with the banks is more gripping than any financial thriller that one may have read. Darling is honest enough to admit that nobody, himself included, really knew how to deal with events and leads us through the path that he, and Gordon Brown, took to reaching an effective course of action.
Darling is also of great interest when dealing with the Labour Party leadership. He served at close quarters with both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.Read more ›
Much has been in the media of the relationship with Gordon Brown, and the criticisms Darling has for his boss, but the book contains much more than that. Darling is both frustrated and filled with contempt when the bankers can't quite grasp the situation they are in and the lengths the Government have to go try and clean up their mess. He is lucid about the stress of the situation that he is put under, from the lack of sleep to the strains of dealing with the media and his own people. And yes, he is candid about Gordon Brown's leadership - particularly about the strain of the "election that never was".
Don't get me wrong - I don't particularly like the way this has come out. Couldn't he have said something at the time? Done something different? Had more backbone? I don't know. Suffice to repeat my old Grandad's phrase - "you make your bed, you lie in it". Despite that, I found it to be a good read - I'm not usually into books from politicians but the writing style is good and it flows well.
One gets the impression that he was driven mostly by what his civil servants told him he had to do. His part was to find a meeting point between what his advisors told him and what Brown wanted. This was the root of the tension between the two men: Darling wanted to run his department efficiently according to his own values, while Brown was desperately trying to find something to boost his popularity. This created a leadership vacuum which was filled by the civil service - but leadership is not what they are there to do.
Well recommended if you want to learn more about economics and politics...
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I enjoyed this book. I am not a labour supporter but he came across as an honest politician telling it as it was.Published 26 days ago by Amazon Customer
After reading this I had to feel a bit sorry for Alistair Darling (though I guess you would as it is his story). Read morePublished 2 months ago by Mr Peter J Warren
If you're interested in New Labour and/or the global recession this is a must read. You'll truly find out how much of a struggle it was and if you look at how he and Gordon dealt... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
This provides an amazing insight into a unbelievable time in Global politics. Personally, I hoped Mr. Read morePublished 3 months ago by CS
Any aspiring politician who has ambitions of high office. Intelligence, tenacity, patience but above all an understanding of what the general public think: politicians spend too... Read morePublished 3 months ago by A Hind
I.really.enjoyed this.book, I haven't read many political books.but read this.to.u understand better the banking crisis and.the nuts and.bolts of it from.within the government. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Rich Drayton
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