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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth a read....
A very interesting biography of Cameron, the first impartial study of him and his rise to the head of the Tory Party. There are some revealing accounts from his Eton, Oxford, Smith Square and Carlton days which shed light on Cameron's life and career. A balanced book - which reveals postive and negative aspects of his life and personality - that will be of use to anyone...
Published on 5 April 2007 by JNW

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cameron
This is a really rather ordinary rehash of Dave Cameron's rise to the top of the Tory Party and his unconvincing stab at winning the 2010 general election. Practically no one believed that, given the unpopularity of Gordon Brown and up against an exhausted and penniless Labour Party, Cameron could fail to win a convincing victory in 2010. And yet that's exactly what he...
Published 20 months ago by PS


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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth a read...., 5 April 2007
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A very interesting biography of Cameron, the first impartial study of him and his rise to the head of the Tory Party. There are some revealing accounts from his Eton, Oxford, Smith Square and Carlton days which shed light on Cameron's life and career. A balanced book - which reveals postive and negative aspects of his life and personality - that will be of use to anyone interested in British Politics.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cameron, 4 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Cameron: Practically a Conservative (Paperback)
This is a really rather ordinary rehash of Dave Cameron's rise to the top of the Tory Party and his unconvincing stab at winning the 2010 general election. Practically no one believed that, given the unpopularity of Gordon Brown and up against an exhausted and penniless Labour Party, Cameron could fail to win a convincing victory in 2010. And yet that's exactly what he managed to do: snatching defeat from the jaws of victory and having to turn mendicant by seeking a power-sharing deal with Clegg and his Liberal bedfellows.

This book provides a perfectly adequate ramble through Cameron's seemingly gilded path to Tory stardom and his apparently effortless ability to square up those that matter within the Conservative party in order to secure career advancement. It does not, however, provide any particular insight into what makes Cameron tick. What does he believe in? The fact that the Prime Minister has now given us several relaunches of his Big Society theme without ever putting any more flesh onto the bones of that particular bromide is surely reason enough for any Tory to worry that staying in office and generally doing the decent thing by his country and his class is all that their leader wishes to be remembered for.

What is Cameron all about? Is he truly intent on recasting the UK's education system and its broken welfare state and thereby donning the ragged radical cloak of Mrs Thatcher? Or is he happily going the way of Harold MacMillan, his mind already half wandering off to growing prize marrows in his Oxfordshire garden in his retirement?

Cameron's unpopularity on his own back benches has everything to do with the fact that many of his MPs simply do not see him as a proper Conservative at all. This book will do nothing to reassure them on that point.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Heeeeres Dave!, 6 April 2007
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Emteq "Emteq" (Down where the drunkards roll) - See all my reviews
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Anyone with an interest in politics should be reading this book.

While describing a politician's biography as a 'page turner' may seem implausible, this is a book that is very readable and gives multiple insights into the formation of 'Dave' and his rise to Tory leader within 5 years of election as an MP.

That said, the first chapters seem rather worthy, being chronicles of Cameron's school days. In reality, such narrative is one of the strengths of the book, as it gives readers an insight into the world of the moneyed classes which Cameron comes from and his formative influences such as losing a 'safe' seat in 1997 and being on the Treasury team during "Black Wednesday". Knee-jerk class-warriors will instinctively despise him for Eton, Oxford, homes with tennis courts and the assumption that summer would mean languid days around the pool at a Italian villa.

Although not mentioned by the authors, Dave's unobserved presence at seminal events in Tory party history reminded me of Woody Allen's character 'Zelig', a human-chameleon who adapts to fit into any situation so that he will be comfortable and never experience any anxiety. But after examining the evidence of policy flip-flopping, political opportunism, presentation over substance etc., the authors generally find in favour of their man.

A value of the book comes from matching how Dave mines his insiders view of the many. many party bungles from 1992 to 2003 to inform and guide his actions now.

The core observation is that he is using his own media savvy & 'likeability' to remove the stigma of the Tories as the 'Nasty Party' before he attempts to lay out the policies to voters.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful biography of Cameron, 23 Sep 2009
By 
William Podmore (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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Francis Elliott, the Whitehall Editor of the Independent on Sunday, and James Hanning, an old Etonian and the Executive Editor of the Independent on Sunday, have written a fascinating biography of David Cameron, the leader of the opposition since 2005. The son of a stockbroker, who went to preparatory school, Eton and Oxford, Cameron has led a life `of gilded privilege, of nannies, swimming pools and friends in the City', as they describe it.

An Etonian said, "you are tough as nails, you are, and no one realises it." The phrase `not as nice as he seems' recurs. An Oxford friend said, "he loved the free market and Thatcher." Elliott and Hanning sum up, "he was, as university friends confirm, a dyed-in-the-wool Thatcherite."

Cameron worked at the Conservative Research Department from 1988 to 1992 and then as an adviser first to Chancellor of the Exchequer Norman Lamont and later to Home Secretary Michael Howard. A friend said, "David was very right wing in those days."

In 1992, Prime Minister John Major and Cameron's boss Lamont insisted that they had no plans to raise taxes, and then within a year signalled three years of tax rises in the 1993 budget. This `green' tax, of VAT on fuel, lifted the tax take by more than £10 billion by 1995. Cameron has pledged to make emissions cuts targets statutory.

In 1994, his fiancée's mother, a friend of Michael Green, chairman of Carlton Communications (the world's worst TV company), got him a £80K a year job as the firm's spin doctor. He worked there for seven years. Green said, "I think David can be ruthless ... he was as tough as they come."

Cameron said, "I am an instinctive hawk." He voted for the Iraq war, despite saying that he would not do so without proof of threat or a UN resolution. He was and is liberal on drugs and gays, hard-right on the economy, and neo-con on foreign policy.
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19 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm no poltics twitcher but this is superb...., 1 May 2007
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R. Selby (Sevenoaks, Kent United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This book is immensely informative and easy to read, and fascinating to boot.

The two parts that stuck out in my mind were the chapters on Cameron's disabled son, Ivan, and the chapter in which Cameron lost the seat of Stafford in 1997. On a dreadful night for the Tories, the so-called 'safe Tory seat' lost its 10,000 majority to Labour. Abandoned by the constituency party, Cameron faced alone a town hall with the celebrating New Labour groupies and the Monster Raving Loony Party. This was topped off at the end of the night by a tearful pensioner saying to Cameron, "I don't want to die under a Labour government." Stung, Cameron vowed to do something about it.

The chapter on Ivan is deeply poignant and highlights an inner steal and resolve that belies Cameron's friendly approach. Peter Hitchens, who criticised Cameron for "always having had everything easy in life" in a television documentary, has publicly issued an apology to Cameron after reading this book.

A real page turner, and one that will help alter perceptions of Cameron as a Blair-wannabe. As the book says, Cameron is a Conservative right down to his bones, he was born into it, and actually - unlike George Osborne or Steve Hilton for example - is only a fairly recent convert to 'modern, compassionate Conservatism' himself.

Excellent.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good, 12 Jan 2014
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Good book if you are a solid conservative or a bench warming liberal, this book tells of Mr.Cameron's childhood and rise to political fame, how he defeated David Davies to become leader of the party and now leader of the Country. I would advise buying this boom however if you are anything other hand the listed people at the beginning of the review.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, 21 Dec 2013
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Really enjoyed reading this book, gave me a good insight to David Cameron who is turning out to e a fine Prime Minister. Just imagine what he could do with a parliamentary majority. Roll on may 2015
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5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this book!, 20 July 2012
This review is from: Cameron: Practically a Conservative (Paperback)
This book is excellent. It is both informative and interesting; it is clearly very well researched. It is very well written - easy to read without being "dumbed down" in any way. It goes in a good level of detail - it doesn't just scratch the surface but it never gets to heavy. It builds a clear picture of the "real" Cameron, but also provides a good deal of comment and analysis of the politics over the last 6 or 7 years, while also dipping into relevant political events of the previous few decades.

I bought it as someone about to start Politics A level, and it has done a great deal to clarify current politics, as well as giving me a stronger foundation on the general workings of politics.

It is very reasonably priced, and comes highly recommended
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5.0 out of 5 stars Cameron: The Rise of the New Conservative, 22 Mar 2012
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S. NAKONECZNYJ (Manchester, England) - See all my reviews
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Didn't know too much about our Prime Ministers background, so got this to gen up;) Found it informative, perhaps lacking some depth, but a good overall portrait of David Cameron's rise through the ranks of the Conservative Party. Good for anyone interested in the Conservatives since the demise of Margaret Thatcher as it is quite informative on John Majors stint as PM too. Would recommend :)
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sympathetic portrait of young PM, 13 Jun 2010
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There are surprisingly few books out there telling us much about the influences which have shaped our new PM. This one doesn't tell much new but is a sympathetic and straightforward re-telling of the privileged childhood and youth and formative political years in the last gasp of the Major downfall, as well as more personal influences from home. Nice easy read.
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Cameron: Practically a Conservative by James Hanning (Paperback - 24 May 2012)
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