I prioritised reading this book after being unable to hear a talk by her at the Edinburgh Book Festival last year. Being a cheapskate, I dallied until the paperback came out.
Politically, I am slightly to the left of the author, but have noted since the Coalition Government of 1 years standing, she has been one of the few to engage critically and in cases oppose the policies that were / are being enacted.
I remember first hearing of her around the formation of the SDP. I also remember hearing the term 'Gang of Four' and not realising until many years later, where it was borrowed from.
I was also aware of her being Vera Brittain's daughter, though not actually having read ' A Testament of Youth'. Perhaps worthy of reconsideration.
She considers herself to be on the moderate democratic left, a label also claimed by Blair, who, in my view, isn't. The book documents her struggles with the far left of the Labour party and how that led to the creation of the SDP. Now, in the Liberal Democrats, she is definitely on the left of that party and generally referred to as such in the political media and maybe even perceived by some in the ranks as one of the 'troublemakers'.
Certainly there is a huge amount of ground of cover. I personally did not mind that there was not so much personal information at the outset regarding her family. What was there, was included to give a sense of where she came from, and how the journey started for her politically. Did she see her politics as different from her mother? She never says and in line with another review, I think this is an unfortunate omission.
The sense of privilege came through - should she have been more humble about that? The plethora of to be famous and well connected people that she cam into contact from childhood onwards, cannot have done her any harm, in the early days of her political career. Being a woman with talent and motivation, was never going to be enough. I don't necessarily criticise her for it, for think it might have been alluded to more more.
But yes, certainly worth reading, despite these two quibbles. I finished reading it at 5. 30 this morning. No regrets and no time wasted.
Make your own mind up but definitely give it a go.