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The Insider: The Private Diaries of a Scandalous Decade [Hardcover]

Piers Morgan
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)

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Book Description

4 Mar 2005
At the record-breaking age of 28 Piers Morgan was made editor of the News of the World, the UK's biggest-selling Sunday newspaper. The decade that followed was one of the most tumultuous in modern times, a period in which we witnessed the self-implosion of the Tories, the rise of New Labour, the Royal Family brought to its knees by scandal and tragedy, horrific news events like Dunblane, september 11, and the war in Iraq - alongside a seemingly endless supply of fantastically entertaining sport and celebrity gossip. Throughout the period (he later moved to the Mirror, Infamously deciding to take it upmarket and stand alone in making the paper anti-war) he kept detailed diaries of what happened, as it happened - recording encounters and escapades with the key figures involved, from Murdoch to Blair, Diana to the Beckhams. Like Alan Clark and Paul Burrell before him, The Insider will give the wider reading public an unprecedented insight into the workings not only of newspapers, but the inside track on the corridors of power in Britain. Entertaining, engaging and compulsive, The Insider is set to become the most talked-about book of the 2005, blowing apart every notion we have about politics, media and celebrity in twenty-first century Britain.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Ebury Press (4 Mar 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0091905060
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091905064
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.2 x 4.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 648,155 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Piers Morgan’s ghastly diaries will be the epitaph of this government...a book of historic importance" -- Peter Oborne, Spectator

"funny and fabulously indiscreet...holds a mirror to the spinning and posturing of our celebrity age" -- The Observer

"gives us hundreds of wonderful tales, some funny, some profound, some just fascinating" -- Greg Dyke, The Guardian

"riotous" -- Andrew Marr, Start the Week

(he) gives us hundreds of wonderful tales, some funny, some profound, some just fascinating -- Greg Dyke, Guardian

...this is a book that holds up a mirror to the spinning and posturing of our celebrity age... -- The Observer

Riotous -- Andrew Marr, Start the Week BBC R4

scurrilously entertaining -- The Observer

Book Description

The most talked-about book of the year - now in paperback --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very readable 24 Oct 2005
Piers Morgan is undoubtedly smug and I have always found him rather irritating. However, this is an entertaining book and even though I was quite prejudiced against him, I found him surprisingly difficult to dislike.
The book is written in a diary format giving his perspective on the events of the last ten years (covering his time as editor of the News of the World and the Daily Mirror). It covers are Princess Diana's relationship with the media and her death; the war with Iraq (and the Mirror's strongly anti-war stance); New Labour and his relationship with Tony & Cherie Blair, Peter Mandelson and Alastair Campbell; his troubles with share dealing; his dealings with Rupert Murdoch, Kelvin McKenzie, Naomi Campbell, Jeremy Clarkson and other celebrities amongst many other topics.
Clearly his diary has been extensively edited to make it more readable but I would guess he has also taken the opportunity to portray himself in the best possible light and to make him appear almost prescient (he gives the impression that he has understood the full implications of important events almost instantly) while throwing in the odd, half-hearted attempt at self-deprecation in an attempt to make him appear more human and more likeable.
However, despite my reservations the book works; it is strangely addictive: once started it is very difficult to put down. It provides some interesting insight into events of the period together with some genuinely funny anecdotes.
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47 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An insight into the world of journalism 10 Mar 2005
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Prior to reading this book I had thought Piers Morgan to be very irritating, hard-faced and smug. I still think he can be smug, but rather than irritating and hard-faced,I found him to be very funny and ....human. He has a heart after all. I got angry for him when he was 'shafted' and I felt for him when he had to grovel. I loved reading about the devious goings on between staff of rival papers trying to 'scoop' each other, and about politicians, Royals, celebrities etc playing their manipulating games. I had always suspected such things went on, but Piers tells it like it is. This book opens your eyes and shows what people in the public eye are REALLY like. I laughed out loud many times at some of his tales. I thoroughly enjoyed the book. It was fun and I couldn't put it down. Thanks Piers for such an entertaining read, and I apologise for ever thinking badly of you.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling 24 Dec 2005
Like a lot of people, I saw Piers Morgan as smug and arrogant. A man more interested in selling papers than considering how much his antics affected peoples' lives. My opinion of his in this sense still hasn't changed after reading the book, however, I also see him as charming, funny and above all, quite honest (I hope) in admitting his failings, as well as being willing and ready to point out those of others.
I teach Media Studies, and I will definitely be recommending this book to my students. It gives a real insight into the workings of Fleet Street (I still call it that although it isn't Fleet Street anymore!) and how tabloids go about getting their scoops.
Fascinating reading, and highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant 27 April 2005
By ccluck
I loved this book it gave me a great insight into the world of journalism which I found really compelling, I thought it was brilliantly written and I just couldnt put the book down. I also really enjoyed reading about all the different famous people especially Tony Blair I thought it was really brill.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Inside Piers Morgan's mind? 14 Feb 2006
The Insider is an addictive read, providing compelling insight into newspaper editing and the role tabloids play in politics and public relations. Intriguing enough just to revisit ten years of scoops and scandals, it is most interesting to see how liberally supposed news stories get 'splashed' recklessly over tabloid covers without serious substantiation or attempt at impartiality. It also gives character to the hitherto invisible journalists behind these vitriolic, hectoring papers - often foul-mouthed, hard-drinking egomaniacs it seems - and exposing the hypocrites and sycophants in the world of celebrity. The question you have to ask yourself while reading this is whether Piers Morgan is to be trusted. The world he appears to inhabit is the same slightly dubious reality that the tabloids reflect, and Morgan is a shameless name-dropper who enjoys boasting of his relationships with Diana and Tony Blair. He seems fit to burst with smug satisfaction at doing over his rivals and is quick to point out how clever he is. He likes to think that he was, as editor of a major tabloid, one of the most powerful people in public life and politics, depicting the government as pandering to his whims. I think he overstates the case, and is perhaps a little naive, but this is no less enjoyable a read for that.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ho ho! Ain't life fun? 2 May 2005
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Well, Mr Morgan has done us all a favour. I have never read the Daily Mirror, or the News of the World (the two newssheets he edited), but I'd heard about them.
Being Editor of these tabloids seems a fun job. It sounds like an endless jaunt of parties, functions with the great and the good and tittle-tattle on the phone. As for the book itself, I feel that it should be read with Jordan's autobiography. I admit that I found them both gripping. Jordan's is awful and Pier's is gossippy.
Both give an insight into the Great Britain of today. Everything is glamour and fame. From, err, 'models', to pop groups to politicians. My god, the vanity of them all! And, oh boy, do the top dogs come out badly. Amazing the importance they all attach to their own self-aggrandizement. The back-stabbing, the petty jealousies, the fighting for little advantages, the sheer nastiness of Alastair Campbell and Cherie Blair. The duplicity, the lies. Oh my god. Awful. But, like Ms Jordan's autobiography, quite enlightening.
In fact, if you read this before May 5, you'll never vote Labour again. You have been warned.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Deliciously fun to read
I wonder if he'd have written this differently given what we now know about phone hack and the devastation it's had on so many innocent people's lives? Read more
Published 5 months ago by S Winspur
3.0 out of 5 stars Piers Morgan has to be taken with a pince of salt
I read this book on relocating to live in the UK a few years ago. It was an
entertaining if indecent entry point to English current affairs. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Laurence Dann
5.0 out of 5 stars Stochastic snapshots of a brilliant mind.
Are these really words or just the neo-minimalist mind etchings of Piers Morgan? mere thought farts of the Morgan legacy which perhaps question their own raison d'etre. Read more
Published 16 months ago by @ad_I_am
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful read
Bought as a presentr for my sis - in - law who has raved about it. She is in journalism therefore the subject was perfect for her.
Published 18 months ago by GinaG
5.0 out of 5 stars Like him or not.!
Bought for my 'good lady' she just loves the book. Written with much humour and wit in an easy to read manner.
Published 19 months ago by Peter Gatford
3.0 out of 5 stars High class gossip
Good for a quick read on the plane but you get bored with his lack of insight. Amazing how often he seems to have been drunk at public events.
Published 20 months ago by Henley Greysurfer
4.0 out of 5 stars BOOZE, BOOZE, BOOZE !!
I found this book to be a very enjoyable chronicle of the daily life of Piers, although some of it seems a bit far fetched. Read more
Published 20 months ago by super al
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly entertaining!
I feel sorry for Piers Morgan in a way, because whenever he is on TV he seems so pleased with himself and consequently is easy to dislike.. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Sasha D
4.0 out of 5 stars This book taught me about politics and publishing
When I began to read this, I was looking forward to the gossip and the name-dropping. Instead, what I got was a first-rate look into how newspapers and politics worked hand in... Read more
Published on 12 May 2012 by Mrs. Marina R. Fry
3.0 out of 5 stars Quite entertaining, considering
If you can get past the fact that it's written by the man Private Eye calls Piers Moron, then it's quite a fun beach read. Read more
Published on 17 Feb 2012 by Ellie Gorman
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