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4.1 out of 5 stars30
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 12 February 2009
These diaries undoubtedly rank alongside Samuel Pepys and Chips Channon. Clark's utter shamelessness- he reminds himself to buy a Valentine's cardfor his mistress, and refers to his party's left as 'wankers'- isboth amusing and endearing. They also give n insight into the behind-the-scenes action in Mrs. Thatcher's government (Clark also records his crush on the Iron Lady)as well as the famed plotting and quiet arrangements of British politicians. Breath-takingly audacious and extremely funny, these diaries are well worth a read.
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on 20 June 2001
Alan Clark reads from his diaries. His voice and intonation are sublime. The epitome of an old Etonian, he nonetheless effs and blinds his way through the cream of British political establishment of the 80s and 90s. Sadly this is a rather clumsy edit of the written diaries and leaves many references incomprehensible to the untutored ear (for example TK means Tom King, The Lady means Maggie Thatcher). There are no political autobiographies that make you laugh out loud except AK Diaries and few that give you an unexpurgated view of the personalities. No quarter sought or given in this giant of audio books... Now he is no longer with us, when I finished this tape yesterday I was deeply sad that he did not record the whole of his diaries. Scoop up this gem now - because you're worth it and so was he.
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on 7 January 2013
as part of the set of three for my husband who has been wanting to read them for some time.
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on 20 April 2011
Alan Clarke was one of the last genuine politicians who had the interests of the British people at heart and dare I say, also the Europeans. Here we have a man prepared to say what he genuinely thinks and what he does think is not the thinly veiled Liberal Hegemony de-facto ideology which we find behind all the modern Tory politicians and explicitly with the other two `parties'. The difference between Alan Clarke and a fake empty career politician such as David Cameron is vast, it's remarkable to think they both were a member of the same party.

The diary entries are thoroughly readable and extremely humorous. Frankly the innate triviality of modern UK politics described in this book is enough to put anyone off a career in politics. It sounds as though our system of government is designed for half-measures and indecisiveness.

We also get a unique view of the dying breed known as the English aristocrat. At one stage all British Aristocrats were genuinely deserving of their position like Mr Clarke but sadly their number are now very few and their grip on power and influence has been obliterated by punitive tax levels, class envy and liberal capitulation. The surviving aristocrats are nothing but traitors adapting to the new international money aristocracy such as the newly settled Oligarchs of Russia and the more wealthy liberal elite such as Tony Blair.

A politician such as Mr Clarke would be expelled from the modern `tory' party within minutes. For a true understanding of the last vestiges of true Englishman before the current tsumanmi of charlatans and scum, one must read and get to know Alan Clarke. AC is quick to point out the `liberal' weasels infecting the civil service in the 1980s and 90s, figures that are now exclusively running this country.

Reading this book I couldn't help to start thinking that in this man and those who shared his views, were the last chances for Britain as a nation and its native population. They were complacent in thinking that everything would turn out for the best in the end - a typical aristocratic view. Now any salvation will have to come from a more dire situation.

Dotted through this edition we find repeated reference to AC's admiration of Hitler and to me at least, an obvious attraction to superior forms of government away from the absurdities and inherent weaknesses of modern western democracies. I know for a fact that AC was also a great admirer of David Irving and personally told Mr Irving that what we needed was, whilst pointing at a picture of Hitler, someone like that! I have heard that AC had a personal picture of Hitler (or the Fuehrer as he would say) hidden in his study which he would gaze upon when seeking inspiration and fortitude.

Although AC is clearly a Nazi sympathiser we find no anti-Semitic statements whatsoever. I do suspect that AC watered down some of his most extreme views in this book (and the other ones too I suspect). He does point out for us who are the Jews in Mrs Thatchers circle and farther a field and I'm certain he knew not to upset this particular special interest group.

We also find reference to AC receiving National Front persons at his private residence, he mentions how he admires them and rightly proclaims them as decent pro-British people. Perhaps AC should have carried through his temptation to become their leader and who knows what may have happened.
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VINE VOICEon 2 November 2008
If the late, great Alan Clark had never existed, someone needed to invent him. A clever, verbose, rich, well-connected Lothario whose life was peppered with famous names and places, AC could have come straight from some Mary Sue novelette. You can tell I admire him, but he clearly has his faults. At times reading these diaries, you can see the real snob in him, looking down upon the lower echelons (of which I am one) with a waspish disdain. Yet as you progress through this compelling book, I believe he's not all black and white. He hates yobbos - who doesn't? He ran a large estate yet disliked bloodsports. He condemns the throwing on the scrapheap of working class men from numerous depleted industries. He's cynical and at times a whinger. But he's also blunt and very entertaining. All those parliamentarian's are brought to earth with a bump, at least in the reader's esteem, as Mr Clark calls them names such as "fat creep" and much worse. This book serves as an interesting fly-on-wall account of the Thatcher years, and more importantly, of the Machiavellian shufflings that led to her downfall.

AC passed away in 1999 but I recall one of his last appearances on Question Time. He was so sharp, quick witted and sarcastic that the audience were eating out of his hand - very few politicans of any ideology can claim to do that.

I'm into politics, so to me this book is worth 5 stars. If you're not, you may only rate it at a "measly" 4.
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on 21 August 2015
I did read this about 6 years ago & I think it was this edition ending the year (1993) I first came to live in Scotland! (I worked with someone who was a relation of Norman Fowler's & he came across as a nice chap). Very interesting & good writer - see elsewhere on my Profile page for Barbarossa.
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on 21 August 2014
He was a horrible old Tory but he had a spark of life about him that made him not as repellent as his disgusting colleagues. It's an interesting insight into a period of politics that is now destroying the UK.
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on 1 August 2015
Enjoyed reading this instalment of Alan Clark's dairies. I would recommend this if you enjoy political intrigue and all of that.
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on 26 August 2015
Still working way thru' this one - enjoyable in chunks! Probably knowing the era/characters helps me, will certainly finish it.
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on 13 February 2011
Excellent reviews are published by people far more articulate than me - so all I would like to add is that having bought this book shortly after it was published I still pick it up and read it for the sheer enjoyment of reading words written by a man completely and naturally at home with the English language. Beautiful writing.
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