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Cameron: The Rise of the New Conservative Hardcover – 19 Mar 2007
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'Anyone hoping to penetrate Cameron's still rather opaque political personality will want to buy this book, which in readable…form offers much ammunition to both his admirers and detractors…This book gives a clear and convincing account of how Cameron raced past far better-known and more experienced rivals to become leader of the Tory party.' Telegraph
‘Provides many insights into the privileged background and the motivations of David Cameron. The authors underline the hard ambition and calculation behind the surface charm, raising fascination questions about what Cameron might be like as Prime Minister.' Peter Riddell, The Times
'If anyone doubts Cameron's classic Tory credentials, then this highly rewarding biography lays out the story brilliantly.' Sunday Telegraph
‘Readable and well researched.’ Chris Huhne, in the Observer ‘Books of the Year’
'This essential political textbook will be required reading for every journalist covering David Cameron's every move until the general election.' Independent
'Compelling and evidently well-researched.' Evening Standard
The first major biography of the Conservative Party's dynamic new leader. David ('Dave') Cameron has recently emerged as the first Tory leader in years to come across as a man of the people, an ordinary bloke in a traditionally reviled political position. But, spin-doctoring aside, not a great deal is known about his background, his family life or his gradual rise through the ranks of the Party. The son of a prosperous and disabled stockbroker father and a magistrate mother, and a descendant of King Henry VII, Cameron excelled at Eton and was voted most likely amongst his classmates to become Prime Minister. At Oxford he 'played a lot of pool and ate a lot of kebabs', but loved politics and worked extremely hard to achieve a high first. It was clear by then that he was headed for Westminster, and indeed a former colleague at the Conservative Research Department, which Cameron joined after graduation, referred to him as 'a young man in a hurry', a reputation cemented by his rapid rise to the head of the political department and the favour of John Major. Cameron has also worked very closely with Norman Lamont, Michael Howard, and has been an MP since 2001.In 2005 he was asked by Howard to write the Tory manifesto, widely considered the most right-wing in post-war history. Months later, at the age of 39, he secured leadership of the Party. This biography reveals more about the man behind the spin, and the first Tory leader in years to have a chance of leading the party to victory. It explores the future direction of the Conservatives. Is the current honeymoon evidence of a new Tory Party, or simply recognition that the appearance of newness is needed? Will he really be prepared to jeopardise the support of the traditional grass roots? How deep are his environmental credentials? How will he react when the press turns nasty? Does his success mark a return of the old class deference? Or is it the opposite, a sign that background, for better or worse, is now unimportant? See all Product description
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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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