Buy Used
Used - Very Good See details
Price: 2.61

Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

Tell the Publisher!
Id like to read this book on Kindle

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

Blair [Hardcover]

Anthony Seldon
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

Available from these sellers.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover --  
Paperback 7.99  

Book Description

21 Jun 2004
When Tony Blair entered Downing Street on 2 May 1997 Britain seemed a different place. On that brilliant spring day the country suddenly appeared fresher, brighter -- a marked contrast to the greyness of the dog days of the Major government. That early optimism was in large part a reaction to the personality of Blair himself. The acceptable face of a Labour Party he had already modernised beyond recognition, his charisma and drive won two successive three-figure majorities. But with the triumphs have come allegations of arrogance, of hubris. Was this an inevitable consequence of supreme, almost presidential power, or were these traits always there? We know Blair is a religious man, but what really motivates him? Rejecting the constraints of formal biography, Anthony Seldon has produced a profile of the Prime Minister that rewrites the bibliography of Blair studies. Focusing on the curious interplay between the key episodes of his life and career and the key advisers he has courted so ardently, it assesses the Blair psychology in all its forms, including his pathological fear of alienating middle-class voters and his unprecedented contempt for the media. Gripping and revelatory, it is a major book about the man who has shaped modern Britain.

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

Product details

  • Hardcover: 768 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press; 1st Edition edition (21 Jun 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743232119
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743232111
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 16 x 5.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 731,721 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


'Packed with information, and clearly and thoughtfully written' -- FRANCIS BECKETT, Guardian

'Superbly well-informed and exhaustively researched' -- PETER OBORNE, The Tablet

'The best account so far of the high politics of the Blair era' -- NICK COHEN, New Statesman

'The most readable of all the books this year on the Prime Minister and/or the [Iraq] war' -- ELINOR GOODMAN, Sunday Telegraph Books of the Year

'This book will become the automatic reference point for studies of a political period that promised so much' -- JOHN KAMPFNER, Observer

About the Author

Anthony Seldon is the author of several books including the official biography of John Major and the authorised 'biography' of Number 10 Downing Street. He is also the editor of an ongoing series of essays by the foremost political commentators of the time, the latest of which, THE BLAIR EFFECT, was published in 2001.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

Sell a Digital Version of This Book in the Kindle Store

If you are a publisher or author and hold the digital rights to a book, you can sell a digital version of it in our Kindle Store. Learn more

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars balanced, and thoroughly researched 13 July 2004
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a comprehensively researched book by an experienced political historian. For those who want to know, he gives a revealing portrait of Blair's family and his psychological and political development. It thoroughly goes into the evolution of the Labour party from Blair's arrival in Parliament in 1983 under Kinnock, Smith and Blair himself. The influence of Brown, Mandelson and many other figures in this process is detailed.
Then we get a fascinating picture of Blair's philosophy, political agenda - Seldon makes a convincing case that it was consciously Thatcherite - style, and organising ability in power. A clear picture is given of how the Labour party changed and how Blair altered structures of government, lately apparently more and more in a frantic effort to correct what he thought was going wrong. There is also a detailed analysis of Blair's relationships with Brown, Campbell, Mandelson and many others not to mention the press and the civil service.
Finally of course we get what seems like a balanced view of Blair's agenda over Iraq which to me ends up being whatever else it was an expression of his choirboy personality. For anyone who has been really puzzled as to why Blair committed himself to the war I think this book will help them understand.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A chronicle of unfullfilled promise 24 Aug 2006
By Jimbo
Seldon has developed an interesting and fresh approach for this biography of Blair - and much comment has been passed about his approach of alternating between the twenty most important events of his life and the twenty figures to have had the greatest impact. This allows the reader to determine where Blair drew his influences from - indeed he appears to be uniquely ungrounded for a politician and has drawn much strength and many ideas from people around him.

Seldon's main argument is that Blair has achieved little domestically in the UK because he failed to develop a detailed agenda for a number of reasons - not wanting to be hostage to fortune whilst in Opposition, a lack of time for preparation whilst in office, and perhaps most importantly road-blocking by Gordon Brown. Blair, and his colleagues it has to be said, have remarkably little experience of running any large organisation. At first glance this does not appear to bode well for Cameron, should he be elected at the next election.

The book is effective in dispelling a number of myths that have grown up around Blair. The most prominent is that he stole Brown's rightful crown - it is easy to forget that Blair carried much more popularity in the country. It is also easy to forget how much of a modernizing role Brown has played within the recent history of the Labour Party. The second is that he has no real political philosophy. Whilst it is true that he has done much to accommodate Thatcherism, he has always had a fundamental belief in community, even if he has failed to successfully translate that into policy.

The third, and the aspect of the book that I found to be most interesting was that on his relationship with Bill Clinton.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
47 of 50 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Blair Bared 30 July 2004
By A Customer
As Anthony Seldon Himself admits, this is not a conventional biography. It's certainly not a womb-to-tomb chronological record, nor is it one of those ubiquitous hagiographies written by a friendly journalist or party hack. Rather it is a critical and analytical study in political communication, although Seldon himself seems scarcely aware of this.
He has presented us with 700 pages of text organised into 40 chapters. They deal with twenty episodes and 20 people who are important in Blair's life. If you think it odd for a text to run to exactly 700 pages, then you may think it odder that all the episode chapters are assigned odd numbers and are presented chronologically. Those chapters ending in seven present Blair at his boldest. Clearly the number seven is important to Seldon and so are multiples of ten, for he presents the political backbone of his book in Chapters 10, 20, 30 and 40.
The reader will quickly forget this obsessive-compulsive concern with numbers because within a few pages he will be completely involved in an extraordinarily dense but very clear poltical narrative fleshed out with incisive analysis. We watch a bright boy acquire an Oxford education, become a barrister, marry another barrister and, comparatively late in life, become interested in politics.
It is at this point that an interesting "life" becomes an absorbing account of how politics is communicated in a complex democratic society. As we are introduced to such influentials in Blair's life as Neil Kinnock, Philip Gould, Peter Mandelson, Derry Irvine, Roy Jenkins and Alastair Campbell, we are treated to impressively detailed accounts of their interaction with Blair, the political system and with each other.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative! 20 July 2007
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It gives a good insight into Tony Blair the man as well as the New Labour party. Great value.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Was this review helpful?   Let us know

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for similar items by category