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Outside In [Kindle Edition]

Peter Hain
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Review

'what sets Outside In apart from many of the other post-Blair autobiographies is that it is so much more than a personal justification for being part of a government that got into bed with the most right-wing President in the history of the United States, took us into two unpopular, unsuccessful and largely discredited wars, and handed out billions in no strings loans to the banks. There is a real sense of authenticity in these pages and much of this stems from the fact that, unusually for a politician s autobiography, it is almost certainly written by him.' - Simon Kinnersley, Tribune

Disarmingly understated ... refreshingly honest ... Peter Hain has lived life to the full, which is more than most of our politicians can say. -- John Kampfner, The Observer.

'one of the best, provides a fascinating view of events'-- Choice Magazine

His account of growing up in apartheid South Africa in a family fighting racism and willing to put themselves in the firing line is fascinating... This is a fascinating and personal account by Hain of the campaigns and of the way that the British sporting and conservative establishment (including a series of right-wing judges) tried to stop him. -- Africa Journalism

'readers of the volume will find themselves being offered an interesting fare of frank talk and recent political history' -- The Commonwealth Lawyer

'a man of great courage and conviction... a remarkable and sometimes inspiring read. For this alone, his footprint in history will be much larger than that of most of his more illustrious contemporaries... In the end he won and shamed public opinion into acknowledging the true evil of apartheid... This excellent book charts his rise through the ranks to become the coitus interruptus of the cabinet... there are some cracking anecdotes... a voice worth listening to --Jerry Hayes, Spectator Coffee House

Disarmingly understated ... refreshingly honest ... Peter Hain has lived life to the full, which is more than most of our politicians can say. By John Kampfner, The Observer. --http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/jan/26/peter-hain-outside-in-review

Product Description

Peter Hain has always spoken his mind. So he does in this book. Here he tells his story as an outsider turned insider: anti-apartheid militant to Cabinet minister, serving twelve years in Labour’s government between May 1997 and May 2010. Growing up as the son of courageous anti-apartheid South Africans, Peter Hain was first in the public eye aged fifteen, reading at the funeral of an anti-apartheid friend hanged in Pretoria. Living in exile in Britain during his late teens, he led campaigns to disrupt whites-only South African sports tours. His political notoriety resulted in two extraordinary Old Bailey trials and a letter bomb. Hain recalls his role in negotiating the historic 2007 settlement in Northern Ireland, being Britain’s first-ever African born Africa Minister, and acting as a passionate advocate and deliverer of devolved government to Wales. Featuring Iraq, Mugabe, Europe, Gibraltar, blood diamonds, work alongside MI5 and MI6, and the delivery of justice for workers robbed of their pensions and compensation for sick miners, Hain’s autobiography gives a fascinating insight into life near the top of the Blair and Brown governments.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3665 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Biteback Publishing (23 Jan. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006VL1HJ0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #92,854 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting life, standard autobiography 11 Nov. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Hain has had an extraordinary life and I found out a lot about him through this book (as you would hope). It's a decent read, though slightly spoiled by his seeming lack of modesty or retrospection. Every event he describes makes him out to be brilliant, even when he clearly wasn't. For example, he talks about backing the Iraq war without seeming to have any doubts about it, despite it now being shown to be a ludicrous political mistake.

It is also very disappointing that he starts off as a fighter, but over time clearly becomes very establishment, to the point that at one time he is campaigning against somebody he personally backs because the Labour party asked him to. Principled? Hardly. But in Hain's world this is merely pragmatism.

Digested read: People keep telling me I'm brilliant. And they're probably right.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An 'all or something' man... 5 Feb. 2012
By FictionFan TOP 100 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Peter Hain, one-time anti-apartheid campaigner turned Cabinet Minister, here describes his fascinating political life both outside and inside mainstream politics. For more than four decades he has been an active campaigner and politician, during which he was involved in some of the most important events of this period.

Hain starts his account with the story of his early life in South Africa as the son of anti-apartheid campaigners at a time when this was a dangerous thing to be. When his parents eventually felt they could no longer stay in South Africa, the Hain family moved to London where they continued the struggle, with young Peter gradually becoming a major player in the British anti-apartheid movement, leading the Stop the Seventy Tour campaign (the proposed all-white South African cricket team tour of England). During this period, Hain was very much outside mainstream politics and in fact was tried for conspiracy and, rather surreally, for bank robbery - charges he clearly believes were politically motivated. Hence, his description of himself as an 'outsider'.

Having joined the Labour party and working for the Union of Communication Workers, Hain's political career as an 'insider' began with his election to Parliament in 1991. During a lengthy Cabinet career, Hain held a number of positions though never quite the top rank ones. From his own account, Hain was neither a party hack nor involved to any great extent in the in-house political manoeuvring of the Labour Party. Instead, his aim seems always to have been to achieve something substantive in each of his roles - following the mantra 'all or something' rather than 'all or nothing'.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 29 Nov. 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
why is this intelligent articulate passionate man not prime minister..... love him.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 13 Aug. 2014
Format:Hardcover
Excellent-a bargain!
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