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The Wit and Wisdom of Boris Johnson (Wit & Wisdom) Hardcover – 9 Feb 2012

14 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Continuum (9 Feb. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408183528
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408183526
  • Product Dimensions: 11.7 x 2.3 x 18.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 294,321 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

Harry Mount is a political journalist and columnist. He was previously the Telegraph's New York correspondent. He is the author of several books including the bestseller Amo Amas Amat: How to Become a Latin Lover and How England Made the English.

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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Alan Barker on 25 Aug. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
You've seen, perhaps, those books that look more like books than books. Extra thick pages. Big type. Chunky hard covers. The kind of book you might receive at Christmas and put in the loo. Not-quite books.

Boris Johnson reminds me of this kind of book. He’s a not-quite politician.

When he was appointed shadow Arts Minister in May 2004, his response was: "look the point is...er, what is the point? It is a tough job but somebody has got to do it." Rhetoricians - of which Boris is undoubtedly a very practised example - will recognise that he is cleverly using anacoluthon and erotema - interrupting the syntax of the sentence with a rhetorical question - in order to give a carefully calibrated impression of idiocy.

Boris himself calls this style 'imbecilio'.

"Boris," says Harry Mount, in an introduction that's rather more interesting than the rest of the book, "is in fact a brilliant calibrator." In particular, his "magical gift for surreal, amusing apology" works "like a sort of bulletproof armour." When Eddie Mair called him "a nasty piece of work" earlier this year, Boris drew the venom with relative ease. "If a BBC presenter can't attack a nasty Tory politician," he suggested the next day, "what's the world coming to?"

Clever.

By holding up a mirror to our own prejudices, Johnson implies a level of honesty that actually increases his credibility. He knows that the only politician the public will now believe is a parody of a politician.

Johnson's rhetoric is the fruit of an expensive, classical education. What Eton and Balliol failed, apparently, to instil in our man is any "capacity for long, concentrated periods of work" (Mount's words).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Miss C. Soutar on 23 July 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I fell for it. A book on Boris. I hoped for sparkle, and got regurgitated quotes, but not until I had ploughed through the intro. Just to be clear, the intro Is nearly half of this very, very, slim volume.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Non Latin speaker on 1 Feb. 2014
Format: Hardcover
Well, Harry Mount is an ex Ballingdon club member as is Boris as is David Cameron who's Harry's second cousin.
So it's 'jolly good' revenue for all us great chaps.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Avid reader - David M. on 3 July 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Simply a book of unremitting quotes. I knew before I bought it there would be a fair amount, but didn't realize All of it would be!
Although most of the quotes are amusing, they do get a little repetitious.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An amusing little read, very light hearted. Not hugely detailed in politics so doesn't get boring if not interested in politics.
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By C. Nielsen on 4 May 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An entertaining and humorous Collection of quoted by and about londons popular mayor . Good value for money
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By Barnacle Bill on 7 April 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book shows another nastier side to Boris the clever buffoon.
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