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Lend me your Ears [Hardcover]

Boris Johnson
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

6 Oct 2003

Lend Me Your Ears is a collection of Boris Johnson’s writing from the past fifteen years, with new additions.

An anthology of pieces selected to illustrate the history of our times, from the fall of Thatcher to the presidency of Blair, with new commentary on some of the major developments as seen from today’s perspective.

Boris Johnson was there at Maastricht and in Kosovo; he was at Bush’s ranch during his early career and in the Clinton White House during the days of trouble. His material also covers the consequences of the end of the Cold War.

But much of his writing concerns the domestic issues of our times: the time of Diana, the age of self-expression, the end of culture, the moment of the Yuppies, liberty versus freedom. Boris Johnson has also interviewed many of the key figures in the political and cultural worlds over the last sixteen years and addresses what these personalities tell of our age.

Boris Johnson’s writings have appeared in a variety of British and American magazines and newspapers and are here collected for the first time. Vigorous, idiosyncratic, always intelligent and informed, with a very interesting perspective on our times, Lend Me Your Ears is a pleasure to read.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 544 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (6 Oct 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007172249
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007172245
  • Product Dimensions: 22 x 14.8 x 4.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 932,680 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Boris Johnson was elected Mayor of London in May 2008. Before this he was the Editor of the Spectator and Member of Parliament for Henley on Thames. He is the author of many books, notably Have I Got Views for You and Dream of Rome.

Product Description


Praise for Boris Johnson and Friends, Voters, Countrymen:

‘Johnson has cracked the art of making politics invigorating.’Daily Telegraph

‘Such an entertaining read.’ Daily Mail

‘It is very funny and has, in short, all the idiosyncracies of its author.’ Jeremy Paxman

From the Inside Flap

Boris Johnson wrote of his early steps as a politician in his first book, Friends, Voters,Countrymen. Now he turns to his other life. Lend Me Your Ears is a collection of the essentail Boris Johnson, the best of his journalism, with additional new writing.
Selecting from the articles he has written over the last years, Boris Johnson takes the reader on a journey from his humble beginnings of a 'heroically unproductive hack' on The Times, through his time as European correspondent for The Daily Telegraph, to his present occupation as the editor of The Spectator and regular columnist and contributor to many other newspapers and magazines.
The fifteen year period has seen amazing changes, both politically and culturally, both at home and abroad. Boris Johnson was there at many key moments: he saw, commented and critized.
In his own inimitable style, Boris Johnson shows the reader the changes in domestic politics from Thatcher's fall to Mandelson's two resignations, from the time of Diana to the issues of liberty verses freedom. In foreign affairs he explores countries as diverse as Zimbabwe and Yugoslavia, and he provides an insight into the many personalities he has meet from Frank Bruno to President Bush. And above and beyond politics, he turns his attention to British society, its culture, its manners, its morals and its idiosyncracies.
Whether persuading the Danes to reject the Maastricht treaty, dancing with Ulrika Jonsson, trying to erect a climbing frame, reporting from the war-torn Balkans, Boris Johnson illuminates the last fifteen years and his new contributions set the whole period in focus. At time humourous, at other time furious, but always insightful, Lend Me Your Ears is lively, stimulating and a pleasure to read.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected 22 Jan 2004
Johnson's last book, "Friends Voters Countrymen", was a joy to behold. "Lend Me Your Ears", far from being the sequel the title suggests, is more "Boris writing about politics" than "Boris writing about his own involvement in politics".
I don't mean this as a criticism, but more a warning to those who might buy this book expecting more light-hearted recollections of Johnson's (successful) attempts to become an MP, combined with his role as editor of The Spectator. Instead, expect Johnson's view on such subjects as the inner workings of the EU. Although there is a sprinkling of humour, it's much less frequent than in "Friends Voters Countrymen".
Although it's not really my cup of tea, I don't want to actually criticise the book at all. If you're a Boris fan only in the sense of enjoying his appearances on Have I Got News For You, my advice would be to go for the earlier book.
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36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
I like Boris Johnson. He's one of those seemingly rare things - a likeable Tory. In this highly readable collection of columns, he comes across as amiable, personable, and articulate.
This last is important. Although I am myself extremely unlikely to vote Tory any time soon, it is vital for our democracy that opposing views get a hearing - and what Johnson presents here is a coherent statement of a logical, internally consistent, sometimes compelling conservative philosophy. I had no idea the Conservative Party had such a thing!
Surely it should not fall to a journalist backbencher to explain what his party is about. That it has done so reflects very badly on the shambolic state of the supposed official opposition. Johnson's reporting style is engaging, his analysis balanced and insightful, his arguments lucid and, while I take issue with him on many things, particularly foreign policy, I have found much here to admire and respect. If only his colleagues could get their act together, we might have a proper debate.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An entertaining flourish 22 Aug 2011
If ever there was a paradigm "marmite character", Boris is it. With his carefully cultivated, apparently uncontrolled hair and his rapid-fire conversational (but often one-sided) style, he has been a well-known politician for many years. That absent-minded professorial appearance belies the sharp-minded, eye-for-the-main-chance politician within who is likely to play a key role post-Cameron. Voters may be surprised to discover that what they have long considered a loose-cannon is actually a guided missile.
As a very regular visitor to London, it is impossible to ignore his most recent persona, the mayor of London; the demise of bendy-buses, the growth of cycle ways and the racks of blue-white rentable bicycles. Knowing some of his other interests, it is just surprising there is no Latin translation of the rental conditions!
"Perhaps it was the magic of this work of art (the Bayeux Tapestry). Perhaps it was the effects of a flagon of Norman cider. But the experience prompted in me a sort of revelation, an interruptionof my almost incessant meditiations on Britain's place in Europe." So begins an article on our "schizoid approach to Europe".
Rooted in the classics but very much alive in the present, he is always entertaining whether you read him to raise the adrenalin level or for comfort.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lend me Your ears 20 Jan 2013
By Meg
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I didn't enjoy this book as much as Have I got Views for You. It was too political and not as amusing.
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