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122 of 123 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Thought Provoking Political Biography: Whatever Next?
Were you to have asked me, prior to reading this book, who was my favourite political biography, I would have replied, Chris Mullin. The reason for that choice was based upon the fact that here was a man who could laugh at himself, as well as others. Mullin has no pomposity and the same can be said of Alistair Darling. The advantage which Darling holds over Mullin is...
Published on 20 Sept. 2011 by K. Petersen

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Back from the Brink: 1,000 Days at Number 11
A fairly light read which, apart from the VAT issue confirms what we already knew. (On VAT it confirms what was strongly suspected.)However Darling is constrained as there is much on this crisis whicxh has yet to be played out and thus a lot of what transpired during his period at No11 must remain confidential and await the economic historians in the future. It does...
Published on 10 Oct. 2011 by Brian20


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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Only read as a testament toof the shallowness of politicians., 3 July 2014
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This review is from: Back from the Brink: 1000 Days at Number 11 (Kindle Edition)
I bought this as a daily deal and I figured it must be worth it. Now I'm not much into politics but I am an economist and the shallowness with which Alistair approaches and perceives topics is perplexing to me. The fact that this is what politicians are like is sickening and depressing, I could not finish the book. There is no eye for fixing, only one for patching up, and no eye for understanding what's best only one for understanding what is will benefit him as far as his career is concerned.
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5.0 out of 5 stars ... mother read this book and thought it was an excellent read!, 30 Jan. 2015
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My mother read this book and thought it was an excellent read!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Fascinating, 11 Oct. 2011
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Carolyn A. Fahm (USA) - See all my reviews
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For a book about politics and economics, Alistair Darling's memoir is really quite enthralling. I could not wait to get it and have found that it has more than lived up to my expectations. It is sad but true that hindsight is so much clearer than foresight, but Alistair Darling's tenure as Chancellor was remarkably prescient of the dark days to come.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Back from the Brink, 9 Nov. 2011
Excellent book: very well written; objective and balanced in tone; unique insight into workings of how government actually works at the highest level and how personalities influence events that affect all of us.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Handle with Care, 6 Dec. 2011
By 
A. Perry (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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The relationship with Gordon Brown attracted most press attention, and it has to be said, was what eventually persuaded me to buy a copy. Anyone who recalls his famous encounter with a "bigoted" voter, will find no surprises here. Equally, accepting that it is written by Alistair Darling, and that I do not agree with him politically, he does come across as a decent man trying to do his best for the country.

It is unfortunate that it does not really shine a clear light on Labour's spending record whilst in office, and lacks any substantive numbers to demonstrate the state of the Government finances before and after the banking crisis. This is a glaring and telling omission, whilst Messrs Balls and Miliband come across as absolute and thoroughly unpleasant Brownites, who should remain thoroughly associated with that premiership. My impression is that Mr Darling accepts that much of the current mess could and should have been avoided, but it wasn't. On the other hand, look at Greece and sigh with relief that Mr Darling denied Ed Balls the keys to the Treasury.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A DECENT POLITICIAN BUT STILL WEARING ROSE TINTED SPECS, 12 Oct. 2011
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DOPPLEGANGER (TEDDY B) - See all my reviews
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Politicians memoires inevitably follow the same patten of self-righteous denial that anything done by them whilst in office was harmful or unnecessary for the public good. In fact nothing in Alistair Darling's "Back From The Brink" contradicts this tradition but what does come through loud and clear is that under that veneer commonly covering high flying politicians of 'greased-racing-snake' conniving opportunism, there emerges quite a different chap entirely. One who deep down is not your usual run-of-the-mill hard nosed glory grabber but basically a decent bloke who really would like to make a positive difference to peoples lives.

Regrettably he was caught in a set of circumstances that barely allowed this side of him to be shown. He was lumbered with dealing with a very real collapse of the Global Financial system and the massive adverse effect it would have on the lives of just about everyone in the UK, and he was caught in the cross fire of the previous Chancellor Gordon Brown and his henchmen led by the swaggering Ed Balls who were hell bent in interfering to ensure that no blame could be attached to their tenure of the financial affairs of the country.

This book gives a detailed account of the author's recollection of the events and the circumstances, if anything in too much of an intricate way, and with some repetitiousness. A slightly shorter book would have had more impact and held the attention for longer.

Still, he comes over as a nice bloke who innocently fell into a pit of writhing serpents and in his view put up one hell of a fight to escape unscathed. Time will be the judge of that.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Back from the Brink by Alaistair Darling, 24 May 2012
I could not put this book down, it was excellent in describing the problems arising from the default of Royal Bank of Scotland, Northern Rock etc.
Thank God he was Chancellor & not Osborne.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars, 17 Mar. 2015
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This review is from: Back from the Brink: 1000 Days at Number 11 (Kindle Edition)
Better a politician than a writer
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars walk in the treasury, 12 Nov. 2012
By 
B. Zabavnik (down town shepherds bush beneath the BBC) - See all my reviews
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This book is a stroll - you will have to annotate it yourself to eek out the salient points which is a pity.Now that we are used to the format like Economics for Dummies it would have helped that the chapters could have had bullet points and sub headings so allowing you to approach the subject matter from several angles like what was happening when a disaster strikes - having tea or a bath?. Up till now i have mainly read political biographies, autobiographies deserve a different approach otherwise they end up reading like diary of a drug fiend. Being an avid reader of Terry Pratchet I have become used to little vignettes at the bottomof the page and this would be helpful here explaining who some of the characters are in this vital moment in history when money became surreal.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars, 11 Aug. 2014
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R. M. Fraser (London) - See all my reviews
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Interesting viewpoint
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