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Mo Mowlam Hardcover – 28 Sep 2000


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown; First Edition edition (28 Sept. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316853046
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316853040
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 2.5 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 750,307 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

Marjorie "Mo" Mowlam is arguably Britain's best-loved politician--though her public popularity is highly unusual for someone holding a cabinet position. In this biography, unauthorised but apparently written with Mowlam's approval--"she allowed me to talk to anybody who was prepared to spare me the time"--seasoned journalist Julia Langdon attributes Mowlam's undoubted ability to interact to her exuberant and "driven" personality, and also to a "desperate insecurity which is assuaged by feeling that she is useful to other people". Through interviews with friends and family, Langdon paints a portrait of the high achiever with a secret family misery (her father was an alcoholic), the student activist whose tutors thought she would be the first female prime minister, the academic who spent years in the US and the tireless Labour party campaigner and administrator who became MP for Redcar at the age of 37 in 1987, and then rose under Tony Blair's leadership to become Secretary of State for Northern Ireland 10 years later. It was a position that would lead to much acclaim--for her charismatic style of politics, her fortitude in the wake of the discovery of a brain tumour--benign, but necessitating debilitating treatment--and, above all, for her commitment to her role, which was instrumental in bringing about the Good Friday Agreement of April 1998. Yet the halting nature of that "imperfect peace", plus the standing ovation she received in the middle of Tony Blair's keynote speech at the next Labour Party Conference meant that Mowlam's cabinet future appeared uncertain (a friend is quoted as saying to her after this incident, "Don't you realise they're going to come gunning for you?"), and in October 1999 she was demoted to the position of cabinet "Enforcer", with Peter Mandelson taking over in Ulster. Indecisive (until it was too late) about whether she wanted to be put forward as the Labour candidate for London Mayor, Mowlam surprisingly, but perhaps inevitably, announced her intention to step down as an MP in early September 2000. This seemingly sudden decision had apparently been decided many months earlier, in fact "within weeks" of Mowlam "losing her post as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland". She did not immediately resign because of her "profound loyalty to the Labour Party". Langdon's account of Mowlam's rise--and fall--in politics depicts a determined, difficult yet immensely likeable character. The great anticipation is, however, the account Mo Mowlam herself might write of her time with New Labour.--Kate Weaver

Review

Julia Langdon has produced a biography in which the full flavour of the subject is gustily preserved (SUNDAY EXPRESS)

Julia Langdon should be congratulated . . . fluently written and thoroughly researched (TLS)

An enjoyable read. (LITERARY REVIEW)

A roller-coaster read... (RTE GUIDE)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 22 May 2001
Format: Paperback
I did not know a lot about Mo Mowlam's life apart from her time in Ireland. However, this book goes from early childhood to present. It talks about her family, battles with illess and battles being a woman in a political arena. The book is not a political bore, but a tribute to someone who has struggled from a poor family life to a media icon. Mo has strength, charisma and is extremely bold in her approach to all her tasks. A very good read indeed. It makes you realise that women can succeed in a male dominated environment.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Steve P Taylor on 28 Nov. 2000
Format: Hardcover
Julia Langdon has excelled in this fantastic review of the 'nations favourite politician'.
Mo has come under fire from so many quarters within the Cabinet, culminating in many ways in a sustained 'night of the long knives' of the Millennium.
This book opens up the world of Mo to us, allowing insights into her world, what she thought of Cabinet, how she dealt with those averse to her tactics and style, and how she coped with cancer - perhaps her biggest triumph.
EXCELLENT - definately recommended for Christmas!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Although the book was written a few years before her death and at the point when her Cabinet career had not quite come to an end, it is very well written and through biography not just on her political but personal life too.

Well worth reading alongside her Autobiography, the book conveys not only her lively personality and hard work in becoming and as a popular constituency MP, but her flaws and criticisms by colleagues in the way she sometimes operated and climbed the greasy poll aligning herself with Labour politicians that could progress her career.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 19 Aug. 2001
Format: Hardcover
Living in Northern Ireland and liking Mo's style of dealing with our politics I was eager to read this. However I feel that as a biography it is lacking in intimate detail. Once in a while the author hints but does not give any meat to the bones. We know how individuals feel about Mo but somehow there is a real lack of committment on behalf of the author. If a biography is to be written it must include all details, not those which an author thinks the reader might like, or which may embarass or hinder the person concerned. Nothing must be diluted it's all or nothing.
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By Laserline on 23 Oct. 2014
Format: Hardcover
great read
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