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Ed: The Milibands and the making of a Labour leader [Hardcover]

Mehdi Hasan , James Macintyre
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Book Description

20 Jun 2011
What makes a man put politics and ambition before family? Ed Miliband is perhaps the least understood political leader of modern times. This book reveals where he has come from and where he is going. It charts his unique upbringing, against the backdrop of tragedy and with a prominent Marxist thinker for a father. ED follows his coming of age at Oxford, his election to Parliament and asks whether the pressures of being Labour party leader are swaying him from deep personal and ideological convictions. But Ed s story cannot be fully understood outside the context of his struggle to emerge from the shadow of his elder brother, David. Ed followed David to the same college at Oxford, into Parliament and into the Cabinet before, at the eleventh hour, snatching away David s dream of the leadership. Ed Miliband s political hero is Robert Kennedy but, unlike the Kennedys, the Milibands fought to the bitter end, rather than supporting one another. ED gets to the heart of the dramatic decision-making that led him to join that epic leadership battle and reveals the hidden truth behind the making of a Labour leader.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Biteback (20 Jun 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849541027
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849541022
  • Product Dimensions: 14.7 x 22.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 397,911 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ed for PM?- not just yet. 27 Aug 2011
By Dalgety
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reasonable biog, quick read 7 Oct 2012
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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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Outsider's View 25 Oct 2012
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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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
By K. Petersen VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I approached this book with some trepidation: I am a member of the Labour Party, a David supporter and I wanted to know what make Ed Miliband tick. My doubt concerned the prospect of the first biography being anything other than propaganda, either pro or anti Ed.

This book does not fall into this trap and is a worthwhile read. It tries very hard to be scrupulously fair to both parties and is as near the truth as we are likely to get. This does not mean that it provides all the answers; indeed, I would be more sceptical were it to promise so to do.

Ed is portrayed as the quieter, more thoughtful and more people orientated of the Milibands. He is obviously clever and willing to listen to others: of course, a strength can also be a weakness. As the Leader of the Labour Party, Ed should be leading from the front. He is not. His first action was to take two weeks paternity leave and, whilst I fully support the idea of a father being around for the early days of his prodigy's life, the timing was, to say the least, unfortunate. Even upon his return, Ed's approach seems to have been more, "So, what do you think?", than, "Here's what we'll do!"

The only clear message coming from Ed is that we need to ditch New Labour. For the first time in history, Labour won three elections in a row but, one defeat and everything must go. Why is this a leftist attitude? One does not see a defeated Tory leader say, "Right, we had better jettison the rich because we lost the last election."

The big question that this book fails to answer, but which I suspect will never receive a full response is, why did Ed decide to take on his brother, David?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars a man with principles
I voted for Ed in the labour leadership ballot. I desperately wanted to keep David out of it. My natural inclinations have always been towards Dianne Abbott but she trivialises... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Mr. D. P. Jay
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent
Excellent book. great in-depth look at a political figure not much is really known about. Hasan & Macintyre have really done their research and you get a really good picture of... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Mr. K. Montgomery
5.0 out of 5 stars Very informative book
I learned a lot from this book. It was enlightening about Ed Miliband' s family background, both parents having escaped persecution in different countries in Europe. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Politicsfiend
4.0 out of 5 stars The Next Prime Minister?
Ed Miliband was relatively unknown when he successfully challenged his brother for the leadership of the Labour Party. Read more
Published 10 months ago by mfsx7mh3
1.0 out of 5 stars Not a review
Hasan is a campaigning anti-rationalist attacking the fundamental human rights and humanist gains so expensively won in the Enlightenment. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Giles Penfold
4.0 out of 5 stars The Milibands and the Making of a Labour Leader.
I really enjoyed the book, an easy read which gave interesting details of the family's background and what clearly gives Ed. Miliband his credo of justice and fairness for all. Read more
Published 11 months ago by pwwilliams
5.0 out of 5 stars A much needed book
Ed gets very little media coverage indeed, except a daily dose of sneering and denegration from his opponents and many journalists. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Meg22
4.0 out of 5 stars Our next Prime Minister
This is a serious attempt to redress the balance after all the media distortion and character assassination that has been carried out on ~Ed Milliband since he became Labour... Read more
Published 22 months ago by Richard Cohen
5.0 out of 5 stars Ed: The Millibands and the Making of a Labour Leader
The first biography on Ed Milliband very informative and an interesting read highly recommend it to those who want to know about the character of Ed Milliband and behind the... Read more
Published on 19 Sep 2011 by Brian40MK
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