The first volume of Anthony Seldon's riveting and definitive life of Tony Blair was published to great acclaim in 2004.
Now, as the Labour Party and the country get used to their new leader and a new Prime Minister, Seldon delivers the most complete, authoritative and compelling account yet of the Blair premiership.
Picking up the story in dramatic fashion on 11 September 2001, Seldon then brings us right up to date as Blair hands over the reins to his arch-rival, Gordon Brown.
Based on hundreds of original interviews with key insiders, many of whose views have hitherto been kept private, BLAIR UNBOUNDserves both as a fascinating 'volume two' of this masterclass in contemporary history and a highly revealing and compelling book in its own right.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 688 pages, 16pp b-w
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd
- Publication Date: 02/06/2008
- Category: Biography: historical, political & military
- ISBN: 9781847390905
- EPUB from £6.99
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Review by roblong
Blair Unbound follows Blair’s premiership from 2001 until his departure in 2007. Seldon believes that during his first term Blair was concerned with presentation and electoral success, but that in this later period he found direction and commitment in policy. What changed? Two things, it seems: firstly 9/11, and secondly the realisation that his approach to that point could leave his leadership thin on achievement. So what did he try to achieve? Everything, it seems, throwing himself into Afghanistan, Iraq, Northern Ireland, the Euro, reforming public services, and the belief that he should lead in enacting these changes. The ensuing war with Brown runs through the entire book, alleviated only during the 2005 General Election and the final handover period in summer 2007.That wholehearted commitment, and belief in whatever he was doing, was Blair’s strength and his weakness. Where he achieved remarkable amounts in relation to promoting awareness of climate change where it was unwelcome and achieved huge success in Northern Ireland, he followed an erroneous idea to disaster in Iraq. Tellingly, he never doubted that any of this was the incorrect thing to do: when he said “I did what I thought was right,” he meant it. Seldon’s book is illuminated by the times he was right and darkened by the times he was wrong. Whilst the incoherence and late blossoming of ‘Blairism’ is severely highlighted, the force of it means that in virtually no area was Blair’s ten years in office insignificant.