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Brown at 10 [Paperback]

Anthony Seldon , Guy Lodge
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
RRP: 14.99
Price: 10.34 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

24 Sep 2011
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 Containing an extraordinary breadth of previously unpublished material, Brown at 10 is a frank, penetrating portrait of a remarkable era, written by one of Britain s leading political and social commentators.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. 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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Brown at 10 + Power Trip: A Decade of Policy, Plots and Spin + 5 Days in May: The Coalition and Beyond
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Product details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Biteback Publishing; Reprint edition (24 Sep 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849541221
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849541220
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 300,049 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

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

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

...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

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 truly gripping and important book of contemporary history. --Robert Skidelsky

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

About the Author

Anthony Seldon is a political historian and one of the foremost commentators on contemporary Britain. The co-founder of the Institute of Contemporary British History, he is also author or editor of some 25 books, including the best-selling Blair, and Blair Unbound. He is Master of Wellington College. He lives in Crowthorne, Berkshire. Guy Lodge is an Associate Director at the Institute for Public Policy Research the UK s leading progressive think tank. He specialises in political and constitutional reform and has published widely in this area. He is a Gwilym Gibbon Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
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
Format:Hardcover
"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
Format:Paperback
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 Quite suoerb 21 Aug 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
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. This is one to read again as much of the Brown philosophy will I suspect be seen as an accurate forecast in future.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Why, 3 May 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
How was this man ever allowed to become PM. A real insight into self centered labour MPs. GB gain was this country's loss
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Overview 12 Jan 2011
By GerryP
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
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 politics during GB's premiership. It reads easily and yet annotation is extensive enough to give opportunity to dig deeper if required. The structure of the book is basically to give a changing picture of the people and dynamics around GB and then to relate their role to significant events that unfolded in chronological order. Anyone that has asked themself the question, "why did he do that"? Or, "what was behind those events"? Will find it a treasure-trove of information.

On the one hand it shows GB as a human and intelligent figure who undoubtedly was in the right place during the 2008 economic crisis. But his lack of leadership and organisation skills throughout his Premiership are quite frightening.

Strongly recommended as a revealing and easy read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read
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. Read more
Published 1 month ago by KC
4.0 out of 5 stars Gordon Brown
"Like" is probably not the right word - "horribly fascinating" seems more appropriate. Read more
Published 13 months ago by P A WENHAM
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 13 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
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
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