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Fall Out: A Year of Political Mayhem Hardcover – 30 Nov 2017
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'The doyen of … high-class gossip is … Shipman, whose All Out War was last year’s bestselling guide to the referendum campaign. Its sequel takes up where that left off … Shipman’s books are fast becoming classics … It’s testament to the rigour of [his] research that the book doesn’t feel dated despite the speed at which events at Westminster have moved since it went to press' Gaby Hinsliff, Guardian
‘This extraordinary book … reads like a roaring farce … jam-packed with fresh, illuminating details … Shipman’s writing has admirable clarity and drive … For anyone who wants to relive the past year… this book is a must’ Craig Brown, Mail On Sunday
‘All Out War was the best political book published … last year … its triumphant sequel … is even better’ Alex Massie, Spectator
‘Gripping … If journalism is the "first rough draft" of history, then Shipman is the master of the second, tidied up, version of events … A mixture of political thriller, psychological analysis and campaign diary, this is a page-turner for anyone interested in politics’ Rachel Sylvester, The Times
‘Readers who enjoyed the lucid prose and unrivalled access that made the first book such a treat will love its sequel’ New Statesman
‘Shipman … a major-domo with a notebook in his waistcoat pocket … bends over backwards to be fair … It is crammed with detailed description and the transcribed thoughts of those who were there when the key decisions were taken’ Andrew Marr, Sunday Times
‘Excellent … engrossing … a witty phrase-maker … Shipman does a fine job of making sense of the period since the Brexit referendum … illuminating’ Andrew Rawnsley, Observer
‘Of books explaining this peculiar time, the most keenly awaited comes from Tim Shipman … he returns to his role as the chief biographer of Brexit with a worthy sequel’ Sebastian Payne, Financial Times
‘It carries on from his first book, All Out War and is just as good … I can’t give his books any higher praise than that’ Iain Dale, LBC
About the Author
Tim Shipman has been a national newspaper journalist for sixteen years and has a wealth of experience reporting on British and American politics and international relations.
Currently the Political Editor of the Sunday Times, Tim has covered four British General Elections and three American elections from the US. Well known in the Westminster political mix, he is a trusted confidant of politicians from all political parties and has a growing following as a witty observer of the political scene @ShippersUnbound.
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Tim Shipman’s last book All Out War was superb. This one, Fall Out, is even better. Shipman is a real insider with impeccable access but unlike some parliamentary lobby experts he has clearly not gone “native” to Westminster. He knows a failure when he sees one and does not pull his punches. The occupants of Number 10 Downing Street (Prime Minister Theresa May and her key advisers Fiona Hill and Nick Timothy) made the most awful hash of the UK’s General Election in 2017. This book tells, in forensic and fascinating detail, just how bad it really was. And unlike his weekly journalism which provides a blow-by-blow account the book puts the whole sorry mess into context. It’s a lot more than just a collection of articles. It provides an overall narrative.
Watching the 2017 election campaign, as a UK voter, the feeling was “can they really be this useless?” Reading this highly entertaining book with Shipman’s behind the scenes access and insights the answer is – actually they were worse than useless.
If there is a criticism - it is the book might have been shorter. A lot of the post-election Brexit material feels superfluous. But overall it’s a triumph. And I cannot wait for his next one. Five stars is not enough
Shipman documents the events in detail and shines a light on some of the main episodes including the leak of the Labour manifesto, which could have harmed Labour but for the Conservatives to do themselves in. Shipman says, 'For Theresa May's campaign to implode, the Conservatives would have to publish a disastrous document of their own. Which is what they did now.' From there on, it was one fire after another. It provides the events that saw Theresa surviving - for the time being, amidst the chaos and betrayals; but not much is said about Michael Gove, surprisingly.
In terms of format, the rush to have this book out might explain the lack of an index, which would have been useful for a book of this magnitude.
Quite how the political editor of the Sunday Times managed to get inside the heads of so many of our elected and public servants is a mystery, because there are times in this very lengthy and detailed account when we can almost hear them breathing.
Shipman has produced a classic follow-on from this earlier book on the referendum, and must now be regarded as one of our premier political commentators. No doubt he is in the process of preparing a third book, and one shivers at the prospect of reading it.
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