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Sailing Close to the Wind: Reminiscences Hardcover – 18 Sep 2014

179 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Quercus (18 Sept. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1782061568
  • ISBN-13: 978-1782061564
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 16.5 x 24.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (179 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 93,160 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

Review

'Skinner's life [...] cried out to be recorded. In an era when politics has become increasingly bland and middle-class, there is marked shortage of working-class heroes' Observer.

'Witty, tender and packed with anecdotes' Big Issue of the North.

From the Inside Flap

Dennis Skinner, the famed Beast of Bolsover, is adored by legions of supporters and respected as well as feared by admiring enemies. Fiery and forthright, with a prodigious recall, Skinner is one of the best-known politicians in Britain. He remains as passionate and committed to the causes he champions as on the first day he entered the House of Commons back in 1970.
In an age of growing cynicism about politicians, the witty and astute Skinner is renowned as a brightly burning beacon of principle. He has watched Prime Ministers come and go - Heath, Wilson, Callaghan, Thatcher, Major, Blair, Brown - and yet remains uncorrupted by patronage and compromise. Cameron discovered Skinner's popularity when a public backlash forced the current PM to apologise in Parliament for calling Skinner a dinosaur who should be in a museum.
Skinner in his eighties has a unique take on post-war Britain. A combatant in the great social, industrial and political upheavals of the last half century, he's resisted telling his extraordinary story. Until now.


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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
At first I was unsure of the first few chapters dealing primarily childhood years but once Dennis Skinner gets to the meat and drink of politics the book fairly soars. Described by David Cameron as a Dinosaur during PMs questions on one occasion ,all I can say is bring in more Dinosaurs as Dennis shows precisely why the public have almost given up on politics. First he has had a proper job for many years working like ordinary people do and not being fast tracked through the old boys network and it shows . Dennis does not treat parliament as an old boys club he sees it as a job and treats it as such. The book full of interesting and amusing anecdotes ,essentially it shows a man of principle and a dedicated and honest ( and as he admits not always right) public servant. Its a great read and an antidote to the expenses debacle. Yes there are decent MPs Dennis is one.
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42 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Truth & Honesty on 26 Sept. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As ever from Dennis he tells it as it is. Principled and honest.Reading his book he tells about how tough it was in the early days. How the House of Commons was ( and still is in some respects) a private club. No believe in Patronage or trying to further his career.The lies of Thatcher , Major et al.And when there is a fight he is prepared to stand side by side with working people. Stories that many are not aware of such as the way he prevented Enoch Powell getting his Private members Bill on banning Stem cell research. thus saving thousands of lives. If there were more people like Skinner in Parliament it would be more representative, The Camerons, Cleggs and Osbornes of this world are unworthy of holding office. And if the tories get the chance in 2015 to be in a Majority with no coalition partners it will finally be RIP to public services in the UK
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Jayne Murphy on 11 Jan. 2015
Format: Hardcover
A completely honest account of the life of the most principled man in the Commons. His wit is legendary, caustic, greatly feared by the Conservatives and yet there is still great respect for him from all political parties. By his own admission he is not always right (who is?) but the compassion he shows which has its roots in his working class background, is heartfelt and genuine. Being thrown out of the Commons is for him 'an occupational hazard' which clearly does not worry him in the slightest; neither does being called a 'dinosaur' by Cameron for which the latter was forced to apologise. He covers political matters in depth but also includes anecdotes worthy of a well written sitcom. Read his account of being thrown in a prison cell and taking the opportunity to do the crossword, making an off the cuff comment to the policeman on duty and the story of him passing his driving test. Long may he reign -he is one of a rare breed.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Arthur Sansam on 13 Nov. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a prolific reader and this rates as the possibly the best Autobiography I have ever read. Here we have a Man who genuinely cares for the Welfare of the People around him. He is not fazed by Class distinctions and has remained loyal and honest to his roots. Very rare to to read of a Politician with Principles and I would strongly recommend that everyone should take the time to read this Amazing Book.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Roger T. Duke on 7 Oct. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I pre ordered this book and could not wait for it to arrive. Hard to add anything to what other 5* reviews have said and while there is one bad review to be fair it is not without some foundation though I would not go as far as some of the comments made. One thing strikes me as odd. I NEVER buy the Murdoch press and would have nothing to do with anything he is involved with. Dennis relates his hatred for all things Murdoch and yet drools over the Times crossword. I hope he doesn't buy the paper but finds one lying around on a train or gets one from the reading room in the Hof C. He wrote this book with some reluctance but I am glad he did.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By John Whitehurst on 6 Oct. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Reading this book has done my heart and spirit so much good.
I love the simple writing style and clear honest expression of views and ideas.
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31 of 36 people found the following review helpful By fjm on 26 Sept. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An excellent book full of wit and wisdom from one of the few politicians who stands by his convictions and principals a rare commodity in this day and age of the career politcian sadly one of the last bastions of honesty So I recommend this to anyone who enjoys a good honest read
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By mark mcalister on 10 Oct. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
excellent entertaining read ,from the last of the real Labour members of parliament and socialist supporter ,priceless chapter on the evil thatcher years ,and he is exactly correct on his views on selling off our transport ,and utility companies now in the hands of foreign companies and how we are all now suffering
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