Warmonger or radical reformer - what will Tony Blair's legacy be? 'The best politics books this year seem to be searching for the truth about the elusive Tony Blair...short and sharp...with Riddell's characteristic wisdom' - James Naughtie, "The Times", Political Books of the Year. When the hardback edition of this seminal and highly praised analysis was published in autumn 2005, the final assessment of Tony Blair's legacy seemed to be a long way off. But in the brief intervening period, Blair's time left in office has shortened, and Peter Riddell, in this revised and updated edition, has been able to make a fuller and more informed judgement of how Tony Blair will be viewed once he is no longer Prime Minister. Never has a Prime Minister come to power with such high hopes as did Tony Blair in 1997, with the expectation of a new age in British politics. But nine years later, many of these hopes have been dashed, and, despite a big increase in spending on public major investments in social services and extensive reforms in health and education, Blair's legacy and place in Labour history are still hotly contested.
The Iraq war remains a dark cloud over his premiership and will define his reputation, come what may. Peter Riddell provides an incisive and informed account of Labour's longest-serving Prime Minister and describes where he has succeeded and where it has all gone wrong. 'One of Peter Riddell's many virtues is his ability to keep a sense of detachment when other political commentators are losing their heads. Political parties rise and fall, but Riddell continues to enjoy - and deserve - the trust of key insiders' - "Times Literary Supplement."