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Gordon Brown: Prime Minister (Text Only)

Gordon Brown: Prime Minister (Text Only) [Kindle Edition]

Tom Bower
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

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Product Description


‘As a psychological profile, an exploration of personal ambition and a study of political obsession driven by religious angst, this biography is gripping.’ Daily Telegraph

‘Intensively researched but coolly critical…this remains the most thorough biography we have.’ Independent

‘What makes this worth reading is Bower’s damning indictment of Brown's main boast: his supposedly sure stewardship of the economy.’ The Times

‘A powerful book which poses serious questions.’ James Naughtie

‘Compulsively readable…essential reading.’ Norman Lamont

Book Description

‘As a psychological profile, an exploration of personal ambition and a study of political obsession driven by religious angst, this biography is gripping’ Daily Telegraph

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 870 KB
  • Print Length: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; Revised edition edition (28 Jun 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008CB9FCI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #47,711 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unattributed stories - but damning anyway 17 Jun 2013
I have admired Tom Bower for his books on Maxwell and Branson. However, this book seems to me a bit of a hatchet job, not so much in the main facts, but in the occasional snide remark (the fact Brown would occasionally spend £75 on a haircut is juxtaposed with a remark that suggests his choice debars him from an opinion elsewhere. Bower offers what appear to be psychological insights with no evidence. An example of bias is in chapter 9 where he says, " Like all good socialists, he [Brown] believed mankind could be influenced to change its habits". This is a slight that backfires since the same is true of Christians and indeed most moralists. Bower is inconsistent. At one point he ridicules Geoffrey Robinson for his management style and then later says Robinson had good management skills. The closing page of the book is in contrast to the damning evidence of earlier chapters. It praises Brown for his achievements and his part in controlling spending ministries. And yet the bulk of the detailed evidence shows spending increasing unsustainably in a prescient analysis of the 2007 crash.

The book has no bibliography and not that many source notes; most were not prepared to go on the record. However, given the fact the book has been published and there are libel laws, one must assume that in many areas the book is factually correct. And what a set of facts! Waste on a huge scale born out of arrogance and a refusal to take advice. Worse, Brown then refused to allow his officials to attend Parliamentary Select Committees to explain to MPs what had happened. Policy made up. Stories told that were at odds with the known facts and told deliberately to confuse.

The book is easy to read but sometimes infuriating because of Bower's evident bias. And I think some of his facts are just wrong. Tory spending was not 30% of GDP but more like 40% (it grew under Thatcher)so the comparison with Labour's figure is not so great, although it did undoubtedly grow.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Assassination of Gordon Brown 6 Jan 2013
Tom Bower has written a hatchet-job par excellence here that shows us almost completely the negative side of Gordon Brown. Brown was a pivotal figure in what was, in effect, a co-premiership. To give Bower due credit, it is important we know about the frailties and faults of our 'betters' and to be fair, Bower does present 'probable cause' that Brown was more than just a ferment cave of boiling magma, but in fact temperamentally unfit for public office. I am not a fan of bullies and this book tells us that Brown basically was/is a childish, selfish, Messianic, hubristic, egotistical, power-hungry bully. But then, is there any other type of person likely to climb the rungs of a competitive hierarchy? No-one has ever suggested that we need nice men running the country, or even that we should be better-off if they would do so.

It's interesting to read in this book about Brown's past and something about how he got into politics as this is not a part of his life most of us will know about. It's covered here over several chapters, though inevitably the focus is on Brown's parliamentary career. To be brutally honest, I don't like this book or the author. I think Bower has set out just to paint Gordon Brown in an unflattering light as part of a general Zeitgeist frenzy that existed at the time to destroy Brown politically. In 2007, even the Labour government's most staunch opponents would have to admit that Blair/Brown had notched up a record of social and economic accomplishment (whatever one may think about these various 'achievements'), and consequently Brown was the heir apparent to the top job. In those circumstances, the only way Brown's critics could attack him was on the personal issues and so the whole political arena took on a nasty tone.
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39 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If only 10% is true 7 Mar 2008
If only 10% of this book is true we are dealing with a VERY dangerous Prime Minister who after 10 years of waiting hasn't a clue what to do and is so indicisive he can't even buy his own clothes.

The indications are that he will be a poor PM but we will see.

A book worth reading if you want to be shocked about the billions wasted in the last 10 years ... I was.

Update March 2009 ... this book is essentially correct e.g. dithering over the election in autumn 2008 and the collapse of our financial system run by the Brown inspired FSA.

Update April 2009 McBridegate ... so much of what is in this book makes the McBride/Draper emails so understandable and so easy to believe that Brown knew and condoned what was happening, even if not in precise detail.
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30 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Many Inconvenient Truths 24 Jan 2008
Magnificently well researched, authoritative, indexed and referenced. Bower is well known for independent, 'no holds barred' biographies which others call vindictiveness. But it is not his job to be the subjects PR man and you can rely on the fact that he isn't printing spin from the subject. The book is relentlessly negative about Brown because that is what the facts suggest. It is the facts of Brown's failure and manoeuvring over the last ten years that are negative not the writing.

In classic Brown style he "intimated" to be interviewed but never responded to attempts to arrange an interview. This book has the quality of not being a spin exercise and an Orwellian opportunity for Brown to re-write history as with Routledge's effort.

So-called mistakes are nothing of the sort for example George Galloway was born a Catholic (easily searched). But no book is published without small mistakes, Tony Wright was mistakenly called a councillor when he was an MP from 1992.

It is written in a refreshingly anti-political way which means no spin, no couching, no obfuscating and is especially revealing in the use of economic and financial figures.

There are not that many revelations to someone who follows politics closely but for the average voter this book will be dynamite. And to most readers the relentless catalogue of failures and political manoeuvring is mind-boggling and horrific. The last ten years will make sense after reading this book. This book is a must to read before the next election.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read analysis of a failed politician.
Excellent expose of a flawed politician. I can't wait for the next instalment - the worst Prime Minister in history.
Published 28 days ago by I Collins
4.0 out of 5 stars the greatest insult you can levy against our system of electing ...
Read this book and weep.

I am not a close observer of modern mainstream politics and I only bought this book because I wanted to know more about Labour's U-turn on... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Dr. Geoffrey Kemball Cook
4.0 out of 5 stars One sided?
This is an absolutely damming biography. If even only some of it is true then Gordon Brown must have been a very difficult man to work with! Read more
Published 6 months ago by Neilybags
4.0 out of 5 stars If you had any lingering doubts about the man...
This book was written in 2004, before the "banking" crisis and all that jazz. Which makes Bower's book all the more perceptive. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Nick Lincoln
5.0 out of 5 stars More Please
I hope Bower gets around to updating this book to include Brown's time as Prime Minister.

I never liked Brown but now I understand what a deeply unpleasant individual he... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Peter J. Holmes
5.0 out of 5 stars An Incompetent Disaster
This is an excellent and thorough exposure of a sad and sorry period of of our recent history recounted by an author of outstanding skill. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Trumpeter
4.0 out of 5 stars A scary book
Having just read this book I have to say its possibly one of the scariest books I have ever read. To think that if one tenth of what Tow Bower has written is true (and I'm sure... Read more
Published on 18 Jun 2012 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars READ IT!!
The book starts off a little on the slow side detailed Brown's early years and given Brown himself was a dull bore it is unsurprising. Read more
Published on 6 Dec 2010 by Turner
5.0 out of 5 stars Our Ex PM
Fascinating account of the man "behind the throne" in Downing Street, reveals what a complex, and sometimes troubled character out former Prime Minister is, and was, during the New... Read more
Published on 28 Jun 2010 by S. NAKONECZNYJ
4.0 out of 5 stars Well written book about Britain's worst ever Prime Minister
Well researched and interesting account of a man who should never have become Prime Minister in the first place (and who, after all, was only elected by his own party). Read more
Published on 11 Dec 2009 by Fiction Fan
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