Andrew Rawnsley's bestselling The End of the Party lifts the lid on the second half of New Labour's spell in office. Through riveting inside accounts of all the key events from 9/11 and the Iraq War to the financial crisis and the parliamentary expenses scandal, Rawnsley takes us through the triumphs and tribulations of New Labour.
With entertaining portraits of the main playershe exposes the astonishing feuds and reconciliations between Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and Peter Mandelson. 'Rawnsley has talked to everyone who has counted over the past ten years ...A brilliant account...a sheer delight for the political connoisseur.
Almost every page provides a fresh insight or piece of information not previously in the public domain' Peter Oborne, Daily Mail 'The book's authority rests on an impressive breadth of research ...This lively Shakespearian account ...the most thorough, the most enjoyable and the most original book yet written about New Labour.' David Hare, The Guardian Andrew Rawnsley is associate editor and chief political commentator for the Observer. For many years he presented BBC Radio 4's Sunday evening Westminster Hour, and he has also made a number of highly acclaimed television documentaries.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 912 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
- Publication Date: 30/09/2010
- Category: Political parties
- ISBN: 9780141046143
Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.
Review by rrees
Again Andrew Rawnsley gets amazing access to the players with the Labour government and paints a vivid picture of the work of government and the struggles of politicians.Structurally it tries to group the end of the Blair era by themed chapters and this feels disjointed as anecdotes and vignettes reoccur but in different contexts or to valid different statements.It gets stronger with the linear narrative that reasserts itself for the Brown years. In the newer chapters for the later edition it gets a bit metatextual when it begins analysing the impact of the book itself.Overall though it is a powerful companion to the earlier "Servants of the People".
Review by bennyb
A behind the scenes look at the inner workings of the Blair-Brown leadership in government. Rawnsley shows us how very human and inperfect politians are when the cameras are off of them. I did feel though that Rawnsley personified Brown as the wicked tyrant who ranted and bullied his way through the corridors of power.
Review by the.ken.petersen
This is a tale on par with anything told by Shakespeare. Gordon Brown, the brilliant Chancellor whose hubris evicted Tony Blair so that he might become Prime Minister. In a party which professed to support the best candidate as opposed to the outmoded Conservatives, Brown felt that he should have become Labour Leader instead of Blair, based upon seniority. Brown had all the charisma of a three week old kipper. Difficulties with his vision, caused by a rugby injury in youth, hampered his limited media appeal and a combination of paranoia and an uncontrolled temper made him the worst possible choice as leader but also the last person to whom one would express such an opinion.This eminently readable account of Labour from the beginning of TB's second government until the day that Brown walked out of Downing Street makes even an arch Social Democrat, such as myself, grateful that Cameron and Clegg created a hotch-potch alliance to remove him.I have read most of the biographies of the main characters, which were rushed out following the defeat of New Labour. Some are good, some less so but, this work stitches together the nearest story to the absolute truth that we are ever likely to see. Andrew Rawnsley seems to have spoken to all the main protagonists - and many of the bit part characters, whose story may not be worthy of their own book, but shines an undeniable light of verisimilitude on the action. Whilst nobody comes out untarnished, not Blair, Cameron, Clegg, Mandelson or Campbell; the real villain is clearly Gordon Brown. His tale takes him through a lingering death of a thousand cuts as he alienated the country section by section. It becomes almost a morality tale, be nice to people on the way up because you might meet them again, on the way down....