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on 29 December 2000
Hattersley has resisted the temptation to give a detailed justification of his time in politics. Instead he has chosen to recount his career in a humorous, yet informative, manner which should appeal to anyone with even a passing interest in UK politics.
Never afraid to express his opinions, Hattersley always maintains an honest view of his own influence throughout his career. However, you can sense the glee as he recalls the occasions when he succeeds in his attempts to 'bowl a googly' to Mrs Thatcher during Prime Minister's Question Time.
Of particular interest (and amusement) are his comments concerning several of his peers. Hattersley excels in his use of the barbed comment. The book is almost worth buying for some of the comments on Tony Benn alone! Also, Hattersley's description of Denis Healey as a man who "ran his department with a mixture of brutal humour and humorous brutality" will raise a smile with all those who remember the former Chancellor and his political style.
This book may not be the definitive work on the post-war Labour Party, or on British politics over the same period. However, it contains much interesting opinion, is very well written and is highly recommended to people of all political persuasions. If you believe that political biographies are dull affairs then this could be the book that changes your mind.
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on 6 April 2012
Covering a period of British political history when party leaders were people of stature and substance rather than today's "style over substance" apologies for leaders, this is a wonderful evocation of a political system where the parties actually stood for something tangible, and not the wishy washy centre ground fought over by the three main parties today.

A beautifully written memoir of a fascinating time of political activity - this book will be best enjoyed by those who, like me, lived through those times, and who lament the decline into the trivial, self seeking and thoroughly unprincipled politics we suffer today.
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on 3 June 2015
This book is less an autobiography and more a series of vignettes from Roy Hattersley's political (and journalistic) days. There are a number of witty tales, which are all the more interesting in that they are set against the backdrop of momentous political events, be it the strikes of the 1970s, Tony Benn's rise in the early 1980s, or the doom of numerous election defeats. So there is nothing of the man behind the career, nothing of his home life, family or whatever, which perhaps meant as a way of guarding his privacy, gives an impression that he doesn't deem them worthy or inclusion or that he is somewhat lacking of a hinterland away from politics and writing.
One interesting point is that the main focus on the book is probably the 1970s. Considering he was deputy leader of the Labour Party for nine years between 1983 and 1992, this period seems to be rather glossed over. One might assume that the disappointment of that period pained him from writing about it in too much detail.
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on 5 June 2014
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I would recommend it to anyone interested in British politics, especially the 1970's onwards. The book works on a number of levels. First, it provides a real insight into the political personalities of those times - Wilson, Callaghan, Healey, Kinnock. Secondly, the author has a wonderful self-deprecating sense of humour with many funny anecdotes.Thirdly, his own views are powerfully presented. It is a very entertaining but also thought provoking book.
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on 2 August 2013
I really enjoyed this book when I first read it and having lent someone my copy without getting it back (a common problem) i bought another copy. It's full of good stories from the veteran politician who comes across as a very agreeable man and a smooth writer. It was worth the money for two delicious anecdotes about Denis Healey which made me laugh outloud. Thoroughly recommended.
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on 30 October 2014
A|rrived promptly, well packed , excellent condition and a most enjoyable read by this wity author.
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on 4 April 2008
This book may be OK for political activists or students of politics but as I do not belong to either of these categories , I found the book difficult to follow in places. Not my personal recommendation for holiday reading!!
The book could have benefited from chapter headings and some photographs to help the memory in looking back to incidents of up to 40 years ago.
My overall impression of polititicians was not improved by reading it - they are most certainly a devious lot at times!!
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