The memoirs of Tony Blair - a worldwide publishing sensation
Tony Blair was born in Edinburgh in 1953. He became MP for Sedgefield in 1983, leader of the Labour Party in 1994, and was prime minister of the United Kingdom from May 1997 to June 2007. Since leaving Downing Street, Tony Blair has served as the Quartet Representative to the Middle East, working with the Palestinians on behalf of the USA, UN, Russia and EU to prepare for statehood as part of the international community's effort to secure peace. In May 2008 he launched the Tony Blair Faith Foundation which promotes respect and understanding between the major religions and makes the case for faith as a force for good in the modern world. His Africa Governance Initiative works with leaders and their governmentson policy delivery and attracting sustainable investment in Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Liberia. As the first major head of government to bring climate change to the top of the international political agenda at the 2005 G8 summit, Tony Blair works with world leaders to build consensus on an international climate policy framework. In recognition of his debt to the North East of England, he has launched The Tony Blair Sports Foundation, to increase opportunities for young pe
Critics who dubbed Britain's ex-prime minister "Tony Blur" for his allegedly substance-free politics swaddled in gauzy PR won't have their minds changed by this nebulous memoir. Blair's brief for his "ground-breaking" New Labour platform reads like a marketing plan: it's all about middle-class "aspiration," "focusing on the developing tastes of consumers," and "modernization," the glossed-over particulars being a muddle of small-bore education, health-care and law-and-order initiatives. The Iraq War is a similar "battle between modernizers and reactionaries," according to Blair's high-minded justification, a battle which would have gone well but for the meddling of Al Qaeda and Iran. He writes like an ad executive-"it had to be dignified, it had to be different, and it had to be Diana," he says of the laudably "modern" princess's funeral-but his candor can be bracing. He paints comic scenes of excruciating audiences with dull dignitaries and the weekly torment of Prime Minister's Questions, is nakedly spiteful toward his Labour rival and successor Gordon Brown, and never hides his preoccupation with image-crafting and media relations. ("Look like a prime minister," he reminds himself on election night.) Blair reveals himself to be savvy, charming, and sometimes earnest and impassioned, but never quite a statesman. (Sept. 2) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Britain's former prime minister candidly describes critical chapters from his leadership, including the decision to "stand shoulder to shoulder" with America after 9/11 and military engagements in Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq. (LJ Xpress Reviews, 4/23/10) (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
"Written in a congenial style peppered with slang and gossipy asides. At one moment he is the bloke in the pub. The next, he is Churchill" -- Ben MacIntyre * The Times *
"This is a more honest political memoir than most and more open in many respects than I had anticipated. He is compellingly candid about how scared he was when he first became prime minister . . . He is unusually direct about his calculations, even when they don't reflect well on him . . . He admits to stretching the truth beyond `breaking point' to secure a settlement in Northern Ireland. Even when the lies are told in a noble cause, few politicians are honest enough to admit that they sometimes feel compelled to be deceivers" -- Andrew Rawnsley * The Observer *
"He is by turns outspoken, provocative, unrepentant, often serious, sometimes funny" -- David Frost * Al Jazeera *
"Tony Blair's memoir is part psychodrama, part treatise on the frustrations of leadership in a modern democracy . . . The book's broader purpose is to preserve his legacy, settling scores, justifying the war against Iraq, and mounting a defiant plea to his party to keep faith with New Labour . . . Blair comes across as likable, if manipulative; capable of dissembling while wonderfully fluent; in short, a brilliant modern politician" -- Lionel Barber * Financial Times *
"Will certainly become a bestseller" -- Robert McCrum * The Observer *