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on 4 January 2013
This is a really rather ordinary rehash of Dave Cameron's rise to the top of the Tory Party and his unconvincing stab at winning the 2010 general election. Practically no one believed that, given the unpopularity of Gordon Brown and up against an exhausted and penniless Labour Party, Cameron could fail to win a convincing victory in 2010. And yet that's exactly what he managed to do: snatching defeat from the jaws of victory and having to turn mendicant by seeking a power-sharing deal with Clegg and his Liberal bedfellows.

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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on 12 March 2013
This is a good general assessment of Cameron, the man, in the context of the decline of the Conservative Party as an election force. To my mind it rather too lightly skims over an analysis of Cameron's development from Traditionalist to Moderniser, he seems to have woken up one morning a different kind of Tory, which leaves one with the suspicion it might have been an election strategy rather than a shift in conviction, which I'm not convinced is the case. That's not to say the auther has an agenda - it is a fair book and highlights Cameron's achievements as well as documenting some howlers during his rise from Conservative researcher and special adviser, through his leadership campaign, to becoming Prime Minister. There was one particularly astute observation: the auther recognises that Cameron's pitch for the leadership of the Party became his blue-print for the Conservative's pitch to the Country at the last General Election. I re-iterate this is an enjoyable book, but then I am a Cameron sympathiser. I would take issue with the title of the book. It suggests that the type of Conservatism Cameron represents renders him only practically a Conservative. There is nothing inconsistent between Cameron's Conservatism and inclusive One Nation Conservatism.The principles Cameron represents of fairness, responsibility, society, inclusiveness, aspiration, and a humane liberalism, are all at one with a strain of Conservative thought which can be measured in centuries. Cameron has brought the Tories back to their roots. Whether you agree with me, or would vote for it, is a matter for you.
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on 22 March 2012
Didn't know too much about our Prime Ministers background, so got this to gen up;) Found it informative, perhaps lacking some depth, but a good overall portrait of David Cameron's rise through the ranks of the Conservative Party. Good for anyone interested in the Conservatives since the demise of Margaret Thatcher as it is quite informative on John Majors stint as PM too. Would recommend :)
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on 23 November 2014
This biography is a good introduction to Cameron as pre-2010 General election Tory leader. What is lacking, and what the image on the book rather strangely advocates is an analysis of DC as prime minister. This version is in fact Cameron: The rise of the new Conservative.
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on 3 January 2017
An interesting analysis.
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on 13 March 2016
An excellent book.
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on 21 December 2013
Really enjoyed reading this book, gave me a good insight to David Cameron who is turning out to e a fine Prime Minister. Just imagine what he could do with a parliamentary majority. Roll on may 2015
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on 18 October 2014
I recently joined the Conservative Party partly because I like David Cameron the best of all the political leaders in our country. I think most people would find this a fascinating read, particularly those interested in British politics.
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on 13 June 2010
There are surprisingly few books out there telling us much about the influences which have shaped our new PM. This one doesn't tell much new but is a sympathetic and straightforward re-telling of the privileged childhood and youth and formative political years in the last gasp of the Major downfall, as well as more personal influences from home. Nice easy read.
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VINE VOICEon 6 April 2007
Anyone with an interest in politics should be reading this book.

While describing a politician's biography as a 'page turner' may seem implausible, this is a book that is very readable and gives multiple insights into the formation of 'Dave' and his rise to Tory leader within 5 years of election as an MP.

That said, the first chapters seem rather worthy, being chronicles of Cameron's school days. In reality, such narrative is one of the strengths of the book, as it gives readers an insight into the world of the moneyed classes which Cameron comes from and his formative influences such as losing a 'safe' seat in 1997 and being on the Treasury team during "Black Wednesday". Knee-jerk class-warriors will instinctively despise him for Eton, Oxford, homes with tennis courts and the assumption that summer would mean languid days around the pool at a Italian villa.

Although not mentioned by the authors, Dave's unobserved presence at seminal events in Tory party history reminded me of Woody Allen's character 'Zelig', a human-chameleon who adapts to fit into any situation so that he will be comfortable and never experience any anxiety. But after examining the evidence of policy flip-flopping, political opportunism, presentation over substance etc., the authors generally find in favour of their man.

A value of the book comes from matching how Dave mines his insiders view of the many. many party bungles from 1992 to 2003 to inform and guide his actions now.

The core observation is that he is using his own media savvy & 'likeability' to remove the stigma of the Tories as the 'Nasty Party' before he attempts to lay out the policies to voters.
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