You Can't Say That : Memoirs, Paperback Book
3 out of 5 (1 rating)


This is a frank, gripping, moving - and controversial - autobiography from one of the most idiosyncratic and effective politicians of the last fifty years.

His political convictions, his distance from New Labour, and his direct, plain-speaking style and personality have allowed him to survive longer than any of his contemporaries as a man of principle and influence.

From his eccentric South London working class childhood to running one of the biggest cities in the world, Livingstone is one of the very few politicians to have scored a major victory over the Thatcher Government and has championed issues as diverse as the environment, gay rights and anti-racism.

Written in Livingstone's unmistakable voice, by turns angrily sincere about social injustice, wickedly droll and gossipy, and surprisingly wistful about people he has known and loved, this is a hugely important and remarkable book from one of the very few respected politicians at work today.




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An odd read in the first few chapters, where Ken just seemed to be setting up simple life lessons from each chapter. Once he had been elected the rollercoaster from winning control of the GLC to abolition to winning the Mayoralty in 2000 then losing it in 2008 was a great read, especially for those who were around at the time and remember that ripe cast of characters. It does get more than a bit self-exculpatory over the decline in his second term as Mayor and 2008 defeat , and the the last chapter is a fairly weak critique of politics and Boris in particular that did not bode well for the 2012 election. He's gone but I wish him well. In the end, like most politicians, he was in large part the author of his own defeat.

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