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Ed: The Milibands and the making of a Labour leader Hardcover – 20 Jun 2011

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Biteback (20 Jun. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849541027
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849541022
  • Product Dimensions: 13.4 x 2 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 453,069 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

Macintyre and Hasan have penned the essential guide to Labour s new leader. --Adam Boulton

In this biography, based on interviews with scores of his friends, critics and colleagues, two of Britain s finest young political journalists penetrate far beyond the prevailing gossip and hearsay to provide an illuminating portrait of the youngest Labour leader in the party s history. Writing with verve and acuity, the authors provide the first authoritative account of Miliband s dramatic rise to power. --Jonathan Dimbleby

Well written and expertly researched, this book is essential reading for anybody wanting to understand either Ed Miliband or the modern Labour Party. --Peter Oborne

Exhaustively researched and written with unflagging energy ... may prove to be the definitive account of the formative years and rise to power... --John Gray, The Guardian

Well written and expertly researched, this book is essential reading for anybody wanting to understand either Ed Miliband or the modern Labour Party. --Peter Oborne

Exhaustively researched and written with unflagging energy ... may prove to be the definitive account of the formative years and rise to power... --John Gray, The Guardian

Well written and expertly researched, this book is essential reading for anybody wanting to understand either Ed Miliband or the modern Labour Party. --Peter Oborne

About the Author

Mehdi Hasan is Political Director at Huffington Post UK, former Senior Editor (Politics) at the New Statesman and is a former news editor at Channel 4 News. He is a regular on BBC s Question Time. James Macintyre recently left the New Statesman, in order to concentrate on writing this book. He was previously a political reporter for the Independent.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Dalgety on 27 Aug. 2011
Format: Hardcover
Most biographies of newly-elected party leaders fall into the trap of being gushing hagiographies by star struck admirers , (I am old enough to remember some of the early biographies of Margaret Thatcher, which read like the biographies of medieval saints -with the godhead emerging from the woman as the story reaches its climax.)or (like many of the early Tony Blair biographies)- they make a number of factual errors.
This book does not fall into these traps.the authors are broadly supportive of Ed Milliband, but are willing to criticise him.they have done their research and make few factual errors.their style is accessible and readable ,even if you are not a political geek, you will find the book interesting.
I found the book particularly strong on Millibands family backgound and his time as a cabinet minister under Gordon Brown.
Of course , at this stage in his career- this can only be an interim assessment of Ed Milliband. His performance over the phone hacking scandal bore out the biographies main theme that Milliband is not quite the dud that the tabloid press thought -and hoped he was.
However, he is by no means a "Prime Minister-in -waiting " yet and the road to Downing Street may be long and hard , with no guarantee the destination will ever be reached.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Girl with a book on 7 Oct. 2012
Format: Paperback
If you're thinking you need to know a bit more about Ed Miliband having seen his most recent conference speech, which has made a good few people take him more seriously it seems, this is a good read. It won't detain you long, seems pretty well researched, and gives you what you need to know if you want to know what makes him tick. It's got three new chapters from the previous edition, which take you through the 2012 local elections and phone hacking so go for this one if you're looking for something more recent. Others have commented that the previous edition is pretty fair minded: I was surprised at how balanced this book is given that I'd expected both of the authors to be sympathetic to his point of view. It's not at all a puff piece. Worth a read, though like other Biteback books could have done with a bit more of an edit in parts.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By F. S. L'hoir TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 25 Oct. 2012
Format: Hardcover
I am writing this review as a total outsider, who is intensely interested in British politics. Blame BBC's "Democracy Live" and the UK Parliament websites. I have been watching the House of Commons debates since 2009/10, but I wanted to find out more from what I read on the political pages of the newspapers (on all sides of the political spectrum, incidentally). And, after reading "Ed", I did learn a lot about Labour Party politics as well as the selection process, which had been a bit of a mystery to me previously.

Although I recognise that the account is definitely pro-Ed, and is certainly designed to promote his credibility as party leader (with 2115 in mind), I nevertheless found the narrative compelling. I enjoyed the book immensely. The journalist/authors have included photographs (including one of the two Eds looking incredibly young); they have also used copious footnotes, admitting that because of political realities, they have had to attribute many of their sources to 'private information.' If one were to find a fault with the book, it would be in the subtitle: "The Milibands", for until the last third of the book, it is all about Ed and his considerable capabilities. His brother hardly enters the narrative until the Leadership contest.

Nevertheless, with its dynamics of interfamilial rivalry, not only within Mr Miliband's actual family but also within his political 'family', "Ed" reads like the scenario for a political thriller--or a Greek tragedy.

I simply could not put it down!
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By Mark Pack TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 19 July 2011
Format: Hardcover
Authors of the best accounts of the New Labour years delved deeply into the rival Brownite and Blairite versions of events before coming to their own conclusions. Those who did not frequently ended up with embarrassingly lopsided and inaccurate accounts.

Mehdi Hasan and James Macintyre, the authors of Ed: The Milibands and the making of a Labour leader, have avoided making the next generation’s version of the same mistake by talking to both sides of the Miliband family, even returning more than once to the conundrum of when Ed told David he was going to run against him for leader. The different versions of events from across the brotherly divide flatly contradict each other and, as the authors rightly point out, that is not a promising sign for a harmonious future.

Aside from balancing these conflicting camps well, the book also handles skilfully the fact that with such a new leader to write about, there is so far very little hindsight available with which to make sense of his earlier career. Yet due to the book’s balanced approached, whether Ed Miliband is a success or a failure, the explanations are likely to be found in the book. Most notably, it recounts several of the high profile campaigns he has run, from student politician through to Cabinet minister, which have two themes in common: successfully involving a large number of people yet also failing in the end to deliver the main objectives with Ed Milband eagerly trying to describe failure as success. Whether he should succeed or fail, that is a record that future biographers with the advantage of hindsight will merrily return to in order to give their explanations.

Where the book struggles rather more is in explaining quite what Ed Miliband really believes.
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