Customer Reviews


46 Reviews
5 star:
 (24)
4 star:
 (13)
3 star:
 (5)
2 star:
 (2)
1 star:
 (2)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping
I have read some biographies before but I am not a big biography geek. Nevertheless, I decided to give this one a try and I have to say overall I truly enjoyed it. It's a big book and I was worried at first it would take me a long time to finish, but once I got to the chapters on Jack Straw's ministerial adventures, I was captivated and without realising it, I was reading...
Published on 12 Oct 2012 by EG

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read
Well written and provides an insight into the workings of the "old" New Labour. Regrettably, I won't be alive when the cabinate papers are revealed.
Published 20 months ago by E. K. Browne


Most Helpful First | Newest First

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Last man standing, 18 Nov 2012
By 
Mr. J. Beeston "Bumble bee" (Iver Heath) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I thought this book was very interesting with view to getting to know the real politician, heavy at times and you have to be getting on in years to appreciate it.
Nevertheless very good reading.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Memoirs of a Major Player, 15 Oct 2012
This review is from: Last Man Standing: Memoirs of a Political Survivor (Hardcover)
Political memoirs have a great number of pitfalls. There is the danger that they become self-serving: how I was right when everyone else was wrong. They deal with recent history which practically all of the potential readers will know something about. They overlap with other memoirs covering the same period and can be tedious. However they are the first writing of the history of the times and must, therefore, be taken seriously.

Jack Straw held the posts of Home Secretary and Foreign Secretary and did so with distinction. He is an honest man and does not cover up his mistakes, like taking on Michael Howard inadequately prepared or, more importantly, backing Tony Blair on his Iraq decision while unaware of some of the real facts. He is modest about his achievements and fair to his colleagues, pointing out flaws where he sees them but without rancour. The only part where I feel he could have been more transparent was when he did not throw his hat into the ring to take on Gordon Brown when his leadership was tearing the party apart.

I was impressed, as I have always been reading political memoirs, at the sheer pressures of the job; especially the way in which 'Events' take over: small decisions or things completely outside one's control can blow up into major issues on which the media pounce. We need to respect our leaders a good deal more for their 18-hour days. A small fact that struck me was that ministers in the highest post are never alone but have constant bodyguards, like inmates of prisons.

Jack Straw writes fluently and well and the book is a pleasure to read. I recommend it unreservedly.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written and interesting..., 17 Oct 2012
By 
FictionFan (Kirkintilloch, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Unlike some of the rushed memoirs that came out immediately following Labour's loss, Jack Straw has taken time to reflect on his period in office and as a result this book is perhaps a bit more thoughtful than some of the earlier ones. Although the whole Blair/Brown saga is touched on, (how could it not be?), thankfully Straw hasn't built the whole book round it. In fact, he gives a picture of himself as a man who concentrated very much on the responsibilities of whichever department he was working in and largely stayed out of the party wrangling going on around him.

Straw starts with a quick resumé of his life before Labour took office in 1997 but most of the book is focused on his time in power. Having held two of the Great Offices of State as Home and then Foreign Secretary, Straw is well-placed to discuss the workings of government at the highest levels, and to give some insights into the major events of the time - the Stephen Lawrence debate, prison overcrowding, the formation of the new Justice Department and the Supreme Court amongst many other things. Obviously Iraq and the Middle East rank high in this, particularly as Straw gradually found his own approach diverging from Blair's. However, again, he manages not to get bogged down in the well-tramped ground of the lead up to the Iraq war, instead expanding the discussion to include his views on Israel, Iran and the policies of the US, UK and Europe in regard to the region.

If the book has a weakness, it is that sometimes Straw assumes that we know and remember events as clearly as he does and so doesn't take time to explain the background as fully as he might. For instance, he refers to Brown's remarks about Mrs Duffy during the election campaign, but doesn't remind us what these remarks were. As a bit of a political junkie and because the events were so recent, this didn't present a problem for me but I suspect that in 10 years memories will have faded and I wonder if the book's longevity will be affected as a result. Perhaps that's a recommendation to read it now!

Overall, a well written, interesting biography leavened by a considerable amount of self-deprecating humour - very enjoyable.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars excellent, 9 July 2014
This review is from: Last Man Standing: Memoirs of a Political Survivor (Hardcover)
excellent
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant honest insight, 31 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
If there is ever a directors cut - that is a longer version- of this book I will be buying it. Fascinating insight into the new Labour experiment and Straw's role within the same. Loved it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting insight from 'The Last Man Standing', 25 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Interesting insight from 'The Last Man Standing'. Why do I have to write more words, just means I'll stop doing reviews.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely not a man of straw....., 19 Aug 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Last Man Standing: Memoirs of a Political Survivor (Hardcover)
Flowing writing style, informative too. Prompts discussion and thinking what ever your political leanings, one for the bedside table surely!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars The book is very detailed and gives you an insight into local and national politics., 11 Aug 2013
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Last Man Standing: Memoirs of a Political Survivor (Hardcover)
Anybody interested in post war political history should read the book as an aid memoire to understanding. Sequel is awaited.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars enlightening, 6 Aug 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
a good read ,interesting .recall of past history in politics , very well written a knowledgeable man coped well with some idiots .
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Last man standing - Jack straw, 4 Aug 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Although I am not of the same political persuasion as Jack straw i thoroughly enjoyed reading his book. Gives a different view of Labour politics for me.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Last Man Standing: Memoirs of a Political Survivor
Last Man Standing: Memoirs of a Political Survivor by Jack Straw (Hardcover - 27 Sep 2012)
Used & New from: £0.01
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews