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More Time for Politics: Diaries 2001-2007 Hardcover – 4 Oct 2007

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Hutchinson; 1st edition (4 Oct. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0091920566
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091920562
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3.7 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 400,502 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Tony Benn entered the Commons in 1950 and with Ted Heath held the record for post-war service as an MP. He has held four cabinet posts and has twice contended the leadership of the Labour Party, of which he has also been chairman. His many books include eight individual volumes of diaries and the childhood memoir, Dare to Be a Daniel.

Product Description

Review

`This is a lovely book; warm, humane, genuinely revelatory and, on occasions, a touch surreal'
-- Sunday Times

Book Description

'There is a passion in Benn's writing and speaking that far transcends the miserable aspirations of most contemporary politicians' Paul Foot, Guardian --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Prospero77 VINE VOICE on 24 Aug. 2008
Format: Hardcover
Being the proverbial 'floating voter' I have a large and unbiased appetite when approaching 'Political diaries'. Alan Clark's were deliciously frank and irreverent, John Major's autobiography (though not strictly a Diary) was noble yet suspiciously sanitised for me and the overblown Alistair Campbell tomb last year frankly rather dull considering he was Britain's media spin-king. But Tony Benn is always excellent value for money. Coming from the old Coventry and Warwickshire automotive heartlands I recall an Uncle regaling me as a boy with stories of picking Mr Benn up at Coventry station and conducting a whistle-stop tour of various BL factories in the 1970s. He was hugely impressed with his concise ability to sum up the sheer morass of industrial rancour in the UK at the time. I had previously purchased the Benn tapes and was utterly engrossed in the nitty gritty 'content' and adversarial 'detail' of government. The face-to-face show downs with Wilson, Callaghan and Foot illustrate the 'day-to-day' of the career politician better than any Government & Politics text book could. True, there are the usual 'hot-potatoes' that Tony embraces with the utopian - and almost naive- stance of an idealist. But perhaps we could do with one of two of idealists just now. The book has an epistolary feel to it with his observations, critiques and conclusions on everything from New Labour, Cameron (Blue Labour as he calls it), Bush, British celebrity culture and his day to day sketches and contemplations on life-sometimes hugely poignant and moving. I can't say that Tony has made me a card carrying Socialist but I certainly felt all the more richer and rewarded for the reading experience. I'd rank it in the same league as Alan Clark -though obviously for different reasons! Tony Benn remains among the very best political diarists we have.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Radikl on 11 May 2009
Format: Paperback
It is rather good. Detailed, politically astute and full of humanity. You do not have to be a socialist to enjoy this, so I suggest even members of the Labour party might like it.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Bcj Short on 27 Oct. 2008
Format: Hardcover
I won't say much, as if you are looking at buying this book you will probably have some idea of who this guy is and what he represents.

I found this book touching, fascinating and terrifying. The wool really has been pulled over our eyes and many of our civil liberties taken away from us in the UK.

Read this book, it will open your eyes.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Pat Collins on 31 Oct. 2007
Format: Hardcover
There are so few politicians who say what they think. Tony Benn is one of those who does and he does it so entertainingly. Ruth Winstone's editing is brilliant and completely invisible and the diaries themelves range from the touching and human to the crotchety. I'm not sure I'd want to live with TB for a week. But they are hilarious too, featuring his encounters with the kind of strange people he seems to attract, whether it's George Galloway or any number of nutcases on the bus. A tremendous read: makes you think, laugh and cry. Very easy to pick up and really hard to put down.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By DAVID BRYSON TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 3 Aug. 2008
Format: Paperback
Commenting yesterday evening on the current infighting within the governing Labour party, a famous British tycoon said that whether in a business organisation or in a government if the team are not all on-side you're sunk. The latest volume (2001-7) of Tony Benn's diaries brings us the latest thoughts of the most celebrated serial dissident in British politics. Throughout his long career as successively the Rt Hon Anthony Wedgwood Benn then Viscount Stansgate and latterly plain Tony Benn, the author has been a cabinet minister, almost deputy leader of the Labour party, and longest-serving member of the House of Commons. He is now well over 80, widowed and retired from Parliament, no longer in robust health but still phenomenally active with speeches, broadcasts, interviews and journalism, and of course as articulate and nonconformist as ever.

Benn is not an intellectual of the stamp of Richard Crossman, whose background and career were similar and whose diaries were in their time as famous. By political instinct he is a man of the people, by temperament a perfect gentleman. He is almost a kind of English Chou En-lai, but less cerebral and with a passionate commitment to the politics of consent. The strongest thread running through this volume is his detestation of the politics of Tony Blair, which he represents as manipulative, messianic, egotistical and deeply undemocratic. On every page this diary prompts, but does not resolve, the question 'How is representative democracy compatible with any kind of effective action?
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Michael Allan on 6 April 2009
Format: Paperback
Well, for a start, I'm a big fan of TB's, and I was not let down by this set of diaries. The style is vintage Benn - he gets straight to the point on issues, slicing through the nonsense which most politicians spew with a hearty dollop of old-fashioned common sense. I find this refreshing. He is an intelligent man and his arguments for socialism, linking them with democracy, are also refreshing. The beauty of these arguments are that he can talk about socialism without sounding daft and/or the need to punctuate every sentence with a trillion "isms".

Aside from the political, I found these diaries to be quite touching, showing Benn at his most human, and the warmth radiates from the passages detailing his most heartfelt emotions.

A cracking read, I'd recommend it to anyone who has an interest in British politics.
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