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Brown at 10

Brown at 10 [Kindle Edition]

Anthony Seldon
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Product Description


...there was one loser from this arrangement Brown. He became a prisoner in Downing Street, hanging on to the illusion of power while his rivals divided up the spoils of office. Anthony Seldon and Guy Lodge show in their superbly well-informed biography Brown at 10 that this drove him crazy. --Peter Oborne, the Daily Telegraph

...a must-read for anyone who wants to know what really happened in the final three years of the Labour government. --Andrew Sparrow, The Guardian

Brown at 10 is chock-full of revelations --Andrew Sparrow, The Guardian

...anyone seriously interested in modern British political history will want to have it around for reference. The authors have read everything and interviewed almost everyone, and tell the story in remorseless detail... --Francis Beckett, The Guardian

Brown at 10 is chock-full of revelations --Andrew Sparrow, The Guardian

Product Description

GORDON BROWN's three years in power were among the most turbulent in Downing Street's post-war history. Brown at 10 tells the compelling story of his hubris and downfall, and with it, the final demise of the New Labour project. Containing an extraordinary breadth of previously unpublished material, Brown at 10 is a frank, penetrating portrait of a remarkable era, written by one of Britain's leading political and social commentators. Using unrivalled access to many of those at the centre of Brown's government, and original material gleaned from hundreds of hours of interviews with many of its leading lights, Brown at 10 looks with greater depth and detail into the signal events and circumstances of Brown's premiership than any other account published since the May 2010 general election. It also relates, for the first time, the full extraordinary tale of the pivotal role played by Brown in persuading the world's leaders to address the global banking crisis head-on. The result is the definitive chronicle of Gordon Brown's troubled period in Number 10, from the unique perspective of those who worked most closely with him.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Brown's short but significant reign as Prime Minister is given a critical, fair and ultimately sympathetic analysis in Brown at 10. Having read The End of the Party, Andrew Rawnsley's entertaining account of Labour 2001-10, I was looking for a account of Brown's time in No. 10 that was more objective, less gossip-laden and more academic.

A quick a glance at the bibliography and and endnotes show that the book has been meticulously researched and referenced (although frustratingly private interview appears many times). Although i have not completed the book, it comes in at 450 pages of small print, i have found the authors approach satisfyingly honest, informative and clearly written. Particularly insightful sections include an account of Brown's response to the financial crisis of 2008/9, the numerous coup attempts and Brown's time in the world's spotlight, the London G20. It is often suggested in the book that Brown was at his most comfortable and successful on the international stage and struggled with domestic issues.

Whilst the book's lack of headline grabbing revelations is refreshing (there must have been some!) and the academic approach commendable the style is often clunking (like GB's fist) and it doesn't have the readability of the afformentioned Rawnsley book!

Brown at 10 is must for anyone interested in understanding what the role of the PM in the 21st century and how Brown succeeded and failed to adapt to the job description. The book isn't for the fair-weather reader of political diaries, it is a serious take on an often overly serious man, a flawed but engrossing insight into a flawed but engrossing PM.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Accurate history of what went on. 19 April 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Was given as Xmas gift to a cousin in the civil service and he loved it. Apparently a fairly accurate portrayal of what happened and they enjoyed reading about people they have worked with over the years!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By A_1990
"Brown at 10" is an excellent walk through the Premiership of Gordon Brown. It charts the political highs - from the financial crisis and performing well on the world stage - to the bad times - the expenses crisis and "Bigotgate", and is at all times detailed and completely readable.

The authors have clearly had excellent access to those who were at the very core of the Brown administration and are able to paint a believable picture of a committed and brilliant but ultimately flawed man.

This book explores the complete paradox that is Gordon Brown better than any other. Highly recommended!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
By Mark Pack TOP 1000 REVIEWER
When it first came out Brown at 10 by Anthony Seldon and Guy Lodge was extremely well received for its authoritative detail and the revised paperback edition maintains that standard well. With Seldon being one of the founders of the modern school of contemporary history, it is no surprise that the book follows the thorough, heavily documented approach contemporary historians strive for - with over 1 million words of interviews recorded for posterity (even if many are, for the next 30 years, withheld from public view) and extensive access to private diaries.

The huge depth of research is accompanied by a fairly narrow focus - this is politics as seen through the eyes of Whitehall insiders, both in the civil service and in the Labour Party. That strength is only occasionally a weakness - most notably in the account of the May 2010 hung Parliament negotiations, which is remarkably favourable to a small number of Labour figures and glosses over Labour's failure to prepare for a hung Parliament despite for many months that being widely seen internally as not only the party's best but also only hope.

Indeed, this account is bookended by two unanswered questions: why are we now drowning in Labour figures who are revealed as having been critics of Gordon Brown all along yet did not back a contested leadership election, and why was Labour so unprepared for hung Parliament talks that the preparations of its negotiation team added up to little more than a quick cup of tea between Ed Balls and Peter Mandelson before walking into the negotiating room? Those two big acts of omission frame Brown's rise and fall and are largely absent from the book, though it does provide hints of partial answers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read 26 Feb 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
An insight into the brown period which perhaps you would not consider, and an insight into the person which gives a new dimension to that which would probably be assumed. Worth the time to read, if you have an interest in politics.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gordon Brown 11 Mar 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
"Like" is probably not the right word - "horribly fascinating" seems more appropriate. Fair to say the authors are themselves left-leaning, but struggle to contain their concern that this deeply flawed man became PM with the support of many Labour politicians who were aware of his failings. Allied with the two Andrew Rawnsley books on the Blair/Brown years & the self-pitying ramblings of Campbell with Mandelson's lordly superiority one has to think it is surprising the country survived at all. And now we have the Coalition!

Everytime I dip into Rawnsley or Seldon I find another nugget of nastiness about New Labour which I can hardly credit - where were the Press when we needed them, & what will be revealed when they turn to the Cameron/Clegg years? In truth, we need books like "Brown at 10" to provide a decent perspective on our short-term view of politics in the age of instant news & analysis
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Why,
How was this man ever allowed to become PM. A real insight into self centered labour MPs. GB gain was this country's loss
Published 16 months ago by Christopher Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars great book
Great book, shocking content. Everyone should read this to see how dysfunctional Gordon Browns government was. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Colin Black
4.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating account
An absolutely fascinating account of Brown's time as PM, seemingly from sources very close to the former PM himself. Read more
Published on 12 April 2012 by Eckythump
4.0 out of 5 stars A very good read
I was not sure of this book at first, but when you get into it, it makes you think back to the day's of the labour government..... Read more
Published on 23 Nov 2011 by Robert Coley
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite suoerb
I thoroughly enjoyed this intelligent and articulate book. It confirmed many of my thoughts and impression and gives a balanced account of the Brown years. Read more
Published on 21 Aug 2011 by Colin Taylor
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful account of a disastrous failure
This is a thorough account of Brown's calamitous three years in No. 10. Brown's worship of City speculators and contempt for production allowed a free for all buying and selling of... Read more
Published on 7 Feb 2011 by William Podmore
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Exploration of the Brown Premiership
I was unable to put this book down - an excellent account of Gordon Brown's three years at the helm of the British Government; detailing all the major events and inside goings on... Read more
Published on 16 Jan 2011 by Tommo
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Overview
I take the point made by others that this is not a detailed and rigorous academic tone but it is convincing and fascinating for someone, like myself, who took an interest in... Read more
Published on 12 Jan 2011 by GerryP
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