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The Burden of Power: Countdown to Iraq - The Alastair Campbell Diaries: 4 Hardcover – 21 Jun 2012

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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Hutchinson (21 Jun. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0091796288
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091796280
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 4.6 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 229,685 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Alastair Campbell was born in Keighley, Yorkshire in 1957, the son of a vet. Having graduated from Cambridge University in modern languages, he went into journalism, principally with the Mirror Group. When Tony Blair became leader of the Labour Party, Campbell worked for him first as press secretary, then as official spokesman and director of communications and strategy from 1994 to 2003. He continued to act as an advisor to Mr Blair and the Labour Party, including during the 2005 election campaign. Since then, he has been engaged mainly in writing, public speaking and working for Leukaemia Research, where he is chairman of fundraising.

Product Description

The Burden of Power: Volume 4 The third volume of Campbell's compelling diaries, covering 1999 to 2001. Life continues apace for Campbell and the New Labour government. Alongside the day-to-day running of the country, they deal with the fallout from the military action in Kosovo, continuing negotiations over Northern Ireland, and the increasing pressures which come from 24-hour media scrutiny. All this, and they wish to be ele... Full description

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By markr TOP 500 REVIEWER on 13 Aug. 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is the most fascinating of the 4 volumes of the Alastair Campbell diaries. Opening on 11 September 2011, and concluding with Campbell's last day as Tony Blair's director of strategy and communications in 2003, this covers the build up and launch of the military actions in Afghanistan and Iraq, the dossiers on Iraq, the Hutton enquiry, and communicates clearly the pressures and stresses of life at the heart of government.

This volume is open and fascinating about Blair's relationship with George Bush and Bill Clinton, as well as the British perspective of the time on a variety of world leaders; Putin, Chirac, Schroeder, and many others. it is also candid about Campbell's view of Gordon Brown, and the damage that was done as a result of the very dysfunctional relationships between some ministers.

For all those interested in politics, whatever their political persuasion, this should make fascinating reading - as well as being a dramatic inside look at the events of 2 of the most turbulent years in our recent times.

Highly recommended
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By ariadne80 on 4 Nov. 2012
Format: Hardcover
It's something of a comprehensive volume, dealing with some of the most controversial times in recent politics. At first glance this could be a very dry stale diary collection but with a personal account life is injected into the minutiae of government life.
Campbell doesn't dodge the issues he experienced, how he was affected and at times more heartbreakingly the effect the media circus affected his family. My sympathies to his partner and kids who have put up with a lot.
It's obviously not an unbiased account (it's a personal diary) but whatever you may think of Campbell's political views he comes across as a genuine chap, who at times has spun an awful lot of plates at once.
You will be as frustrated as the author when it comes to the constant relaying, ferrying and reporting of who said what to whom, but it is a great read and an insightful commentary by someone who was there.
I don't agree with everything that happened in government during those years but I did enjoy this account of it.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ivor R. B. Hibbitt on 10 Oct. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The title of Alistair Campbell's latest volume of diaries is Power and Responsibility and covers the workings inside Downing Street of Tony Blair's government and in particular the machinations employed to make sure all Labour MPs were singing from the same hymn sheet. Irag was becoming a very hot topic and Campbell gives us a fascinating and with former Mirror man Bill Hagerty's helping hand, a fair show of editing these diaries. Political ghosts flit through the pages, ghosts who have now moved on in the world, John Prescott, Peter Mandelson, George Brown and possibly the atmosphere in Downing Street is today not quite so electric with tension and counter charge as it was under Blair, for the Coalition does not have the fierce antagonism that pervaded under Labour. Still, Campbell gives a frank and revealing description of life under the microscope and we read of how the truth of was cleverly rewritten so that the party point was always to the forefront.We read of phone calls from Washington, Camp David and Texas from Tony's good friend, George and his White House aides, although it seems Rumsey and his tribe of fellow neoconservatives, were not regular callers as they were too busy making their case against Hassan,to ensure there were really weapons of mass destruction. This third volume of Campbell's diaries reveal lots of warts and all type of recordings plus the minutiae of his domestic life with Fiona Millar. This is perhaps not the time to rake over old coals for one can safely say that these Diaries will later have a historic value and prove interesting to students of British politics. It is a bit difficult for me, writing as a former Fleet Street journalist to approve his decision to ostracize newspapers that did not toe his line.Read more ›
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Trisha Holden on 4 Mar. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Makes you wonder how/why the physical/mental/emotional body can keep this pace up. Tremendously well compiled inside story of the view from both sides of the fence. Two very determined men not to be tangled with lightly.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Brilliant read,very interesting insight!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By j d tibbles on 6 Dec. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A fascinating read written by a complex man. ACs beliefs do not gel at all with his Boss but he does share one view -better to be running the country than not. . Does he really like TB -not sure , respects him at times but not at others. Unlike many biographies this is written on the hoof and therefore reactions and responses are pretty direct .
Interesting book if you like to learn a little about the character and style of major pollies and their key helpers (almost as important as the people themselves) AC draws thumbnail sketches which indicate a lot about how he sees the world and the people who think they run it
Its day to day style makes it very readable and to my mind the AC diaries are the best political books of the recent era
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Diarmuid on 7 May 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was an amazing roller coaster of a book, which despite you knowing the ending made you enjoy the journey all the more. Throughout Alastair seems credible despite his name for 'spin'. This is probably the best account of both the lead up to Iraq but what politics is really like when dealing with a celebrity and scandal obsessed media.
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