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on 10 August 2015
all as advertised
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on 9 July 2015
Janan Ganesh is political columnist for the Financial Times. He has produced a useful study of Cameron’s Chancellor.

Osborne “privately describes himself as a ‘neo-conservative’ and supported Blair’s military activism, including the invasion of Iraq.” His strength is in tactics not strategy, campaigning not creating.

Ganesh looks at the economy the coalition government inherited. He claims that under Thatcher, “Decades of economic upheaval were giving way to consistent growth …” But in the real world, our GDP has grown more slowly since 1979 than in the previous decades. He claims, “the painful structural reforms of the 1980s had helped to make Britain a more dynamic and less class-based society.”

Ganesh notes, “Major’s ultimate service to his country, though, was rendered in Europe. He kept Britain out of the single currency, the continent’s most ruinous misadventure since the war …” William Hague called the single currency a ‘burning building with no exits’.

Osborne claims that government debt not the collapse of growth is the gravest threat to Britain. But Osborne has got it exactly wrong. So growth has collapsed and debt has grown. His policies benefit the beneficiaries of past growth, the stockholders, the asset-holders, at the expense of the future growth of the real economy.

As Heiner Flassbeck and Costas Lapavitsas have pointed out, “A lot of political energy has been devoted in the euro-zone over the last few years to the problem of stocks, be it bad loans, apparently unsustainable government debt or savings deposits. Much less political enthusiasm has been invested in turning around flows, namely income (growth), investment and consumption. This is exactly the wrong tactic. Because future stocks are the result of today’s flows, priority has to be given to today’s flows, even if this inflicts some pain on the holders of today’s stocks.”
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on 18 September 2016
A look inside the life of one of our greatest ever chancellors. Hated by the uneducated, scapegoat for the media but we should not underestimate the achievement of Osborne as chancellor. One of the all time political greats
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on 18 October 2014
This is a fascinating biography of a man who I admire. Anyone interested in British politics will enjoy this book!
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on 19 July 2015
I'm a 25 year old Londoner who bought this book to get a better understanding of our political structure and the dynamics behind No. 10. At times this read is full of words nobody uses on a daily basis, so you may have to dig out the dictionary on the occasional basis but all in all a great read that has added to my understanding of the political sphere while giving me an interesting perspective of George Osbourne.
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on 3 January 2013
Ganesh's first major book is an excellent account of George Osborne's rapid ascent into one of the most powerful jobs on the planet. It is a must read for followers of current affairs in the UK.

The author's interviews with the Chancellor, his advisors and Cabinet colleagues makes for a compelling - and at times humorous- insiders account of his life to date.

The formative years section is like a case study of how a privileged upbringing and family connections can give someone such a fabulous head start in life. However, this is far from a 'silver spoon' story. The Chancellor's hard work, determination, good judgement and appetite for taking calculated political risks are all articulated as key ingredients in his recipe for his prodigious rise up the political ladder. The author does touch on - but not in as much detail as he could have- the Chancellor's personality traits (and evident self-awareness of) such as his perceived smugness.

Enviably the book focuses on Osborne's response to the financial crisis whilst in Opposition and then in Government. At times this reads as more of a political historical account of the last few years rather than an overly forensic look at Osborne's specific role. Ganesh gently outlines rather than probes the pertinent questions. These include why as Shadow Chancellor he didn't consider the possibility of economic growth falling, why he didn't have a plan for increasing growth when in power or indeed why the Conservatives didn't get a full majority at the polls in 2010.
Much like the biography a young Michael Gove published on Michael Portillo in 1995 the author is, at still only 30, a rising star of the right. This might explain a reluctance to be too harsh on Osborne, who after all, may well challenge for the Leadership of Conservative party toward the end of the decade. This will be dependent on the Austerity Chancellor's economic plan succeeding.
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on 21 April 2013
Being an avid watcher of the Sunday Politics show which I really enjoy, it was said that one of the shows political commentators, Janan Ganesh had written a book about George Osbourne. I enjoy listening to what Janan Ganesh has to say and also the way that he says it, so I decided to purchase the book.

The contents of the book was in my view, superb; well researched and 'thought out'. I read quite a lot of books from different genres but this book was the best book that I have read in a very long time.

Apart from being factual, it is the way that Mr Ganesh writes that held my attention. I sincerely hope that this author writes another book soon, his way with words should really NOT be confined to only one book.

So come on Mr Ganesh, write again, soon.

10/10
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VINE VOICEon 30 August 2015
I bought this book hoping to find out more about George Osborne,currently the favourite to replace David Cameron as Prime Minister. While this well written biography does that to an extent,I still felt that I didn't know the Chancellor any better than what I did before I started reading the book.Osborne comes across as particularly intelligent,ambitious,dynamic and power hungry.However he also comes across as somewhat elitist,detached and lacking a common touch. I had wanted to find out more about Osborne's private life and personal tastes,but this book focuses mostly on politics and economics and reads as a sort of history of the Conservative Party over the past few decades as it charts the rise to prominence of Osborne, who appears to have been highly regarded wherever he has went.Broadly speaking the author paints a positive image of Osborne although the reader will find it hard to warm to him as a human being. The Chancellor also comes across as being a pragmatic ,socially liberal ,centrist type of politician and a moderniser rather than a cultural conservative. I would consider myself to be socially conservative and fiscally liberal so I would find it hard to empathise with Osborne despite voting Conservative in the 2015 election.Osborne harbours ambitions to be PM but I think he lacks the common touch to appeal to voters who might find it hard to warm to him.But there again if Labour have Corbyn as leader in 2020 Osborne would probably win the election with a landslide.
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on 16 November 2013
An insight into one of the most important men in the country and a real contender to be the next Prime Minister. For anyone interested in politics this is an important read.
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on 5 April 2014
Bought this after the Budget 2014 - it's a good read, well written. It occasionally gets too politics and economics dense for the average reader but it's overall quite an impartial and factual read of someone who's actually very interesting.
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