The Blair Years: Extracts from the Alastair Campbell Diaries Audio CD – Abridged, Audiobook, CD
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"Campbell has a draught Guinness voice with a husky edge to it; he could narrate Chandler thrillers to perfection...it was hard to tear myself away" (The Times)
The Blair Years is the most compelling and revealing account of contemporary politics you will ever read. Taken from Alastair Campbell's daily diaries, it charts the rise of New Labour and the tumultuous years of Tony Blair's leadership, providing the first important record of a remarkable decade in our national life. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
The diaries themselves are fascinating and give a unique insight to the frenetic world of politics at the highest level, with its endless round of meetings and conferences, and crises, great and small, demanding solutions. The brief sketches of the personalities involved, both national and international, and their interactions, are some of the most interesting parts of the diaries. We learn of the extraordinary way Blair used his closest advisors to deliberately work himself up into a kind of panic before delivering important speeches, and how the endless friction between Blair, Gordon Brown and Peter Mandelson frequently poisoned the atmosphere. Above all there is the obsession with the media and the image of New Labour.Read more ›
This book was sold as an excerpt from the diaries, so perhaps the next volume, which will presumably be published either after the Tories have defeated New Labour, or after Gordon Brown has done so much damage to the party that nothing Campbell said could make things worse, will be more illuminating.
That being said, this volume provides an insight into Tony Blair's premiership, and his relationship with others in his cabinet, and with other world leaders.
As a journalist, Alastair Campbell knows how to write well, and to hold the reader's interest. I look forward to his next volume, because it might explain why the office of Prime Minister was apparently handed on a plate to somebody who proved to be incapable of handling it. Were there no signs during the previous ten years that Brown has reached the limit of his abilities, and was not fitted for the highest office? I think we should be told - and I hope that Alastair Campbell will oblige!
It is, perhaps, inevitable that the Prime Minister's Press Secretary will be largely preoccupied with public and media responses to policy and to political actions. This bias is certainly evident in Campbell's account of events and, unfortunately, colours the narrative as a whole.
Campbell's repeated claim that the media are irresponsible and unfair in representing politicians as insincere, image-obsessed, power-driven, spin-dependent prima donnas is contradicted, paradoxically, by the dominant themes of his own written record.
Although Campbell coyly states in his introduction that "This book...is about Blair not Brown", the timing of its publication is interesting. Even allowing time for collating all the documentation, Alastair Campbell must have been sitting on much of this material since 2004, at the latest. Gordon Brown does not emerge from the narrative covered in glory. Campbell makes it very clear that he believes the right man got the job - in 1994 as leader of the Labour Party and again in 1997 as Prime Minister.
Given the strategic timing of publication, it is difficult to avoid the inference that Alastair Campbell, for one, considers the Brownite putsch to have been the beginning of Labour's political suicide.
The book was also totally dishonest about so many political incidents. EG: the contentious Dome, Weapons of Mass Destruction and Mandelsons's resignations are all skated over. There is no development and no analysis, political or otherwise. On this level the book is a lightweight sham.
Campbell obviously needed people to see that he had got his story out there first. Campbell was Blair's Office fixer and this is the only level on which the book works.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I am one of those people who still admires Tony Blair and have this book, and it is most interesting. Will always keep itPublished 1 month ago by Mrs. Catherine M. Cave
An incredibly honest and concise insight into this political period. Highly recommendable.Published 7 months ago by Reviewer
Written in the first-person in journalese, Campbell takes us on, er, rollercoaster ride of the Blair administration. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Dan Smith
I much prefer Alistair's work as an insight to Tony's premiership than any other thing I have read.Published 12 months ago by morris charles arthur
Very interesting and an insight into how to run a successful career,business and government. Loved everything about governing the third way. Only way to win floating mindsPublished 14 months ago by Amazon Customer
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