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on 14 January 2014
I work in Ministerial office, and a Minister told me that this was a great book, and that those who work in Ministerial office would enjoy it, and learn from it. They were right. I recommend it to anyone who works in the Civil Service, in any policy role, as well as those who want to understand Ministers' lives. It is well-written, and manages to be both serious and funny at the same time.

The Minister who recommended it to me also told me that when they first became a minister, a former Cabinet Minister sent them a copy!
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on 16 October 2012
It may be a book published some years ago and the world has moved on a bit - but the basic approach of this experienced MP still holds good and all new ministers should read this book which they will find full of useful hints. During a previous Conservative administration I was provoked into sending a copy to one or two boneheaded ministers in the hope that they would improve their performance and become more effective as political leaders of their civil service, as well as dealing better with their constituents - but arrogance and stupidity prevailed. And the rest is history...I am sure that current Coalition ministers - and ambitious MPs who want to be ministers - need to go and buy this.
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on 14 January 2013
'How to be a Minister' is a classic book of political gamesmanship. Nothing to do with religious ministry, this is about what to do and how if and when you reach the pinnacle of British politics and become a government minister. Gerald Kaufman not only dispenses practical advice to those who have, or aspire to, government office, he also provides a unique insight for the rest of us who either do not or cannot harbour such aspirations. Kaufman was himself a junior minister during the Wilson and Callaghan ministries, then later a member of the Labour front bench during the Kinnock years. In addition, he is a good writer. His pearls of wisdom in this book are interleaved with various trenchant and amusing anecdotes collected from a lifetime in the parliamentary trenches. I think my favourite part of the book is the insight given by Kaufman into various senior and high profile political figures. In particular, his observations on Harold Wilson are very interesting and make this book much more than just a parlour room curiosity.

Actually, this is one of those books that it is difficult to pick fault with, but an inevitable issue for most readers will be the lack of commentary on how the web and the Information Society impact on the work of ministers. This latest edition was published in 1997, so it's not Kaufman's fault, but if he or a different author could bring the work up-to-date, that would be most welcome. Nevertheless, the lessons in 'How to be a Minister' must still be relevant and, regardless of what you might think about Gerald Kaufman politically or otherwise (and I certainly do not share his politics), this book is a gem and I would have thought indispensable for anyone who has a fascination with British politics.
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on 11 February 2013
Incredibly well written book. An amazing insight into Government, by an even more amazing Member of Parliament. The ending paragraph is truly inspirational.
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on 28 October 2014
good book and value for money price
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on 13 November 2015
Very poor effort - boring read
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on 12 August 2014
well written but a lot of detail of interest to the aspiring polititian
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