The End Of The Party
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The End Of The Party

4.28 of 5 stars 4.28  ·  rating details  ·  234 ratings  ·  34 reviews
Andrew Rawnsley's bestselling and award-winning "Servants of the People" was acclaimed across all media as the most authoritative and entertaining account of New Labour and its first term in office. As one reviewer put it, 'Rawnsley's ability to unearth revelation at the highest level of government may leave you suspecting that there are bugs in the vases at Number 10'. "T...more
Hardcover, 801 pages
Published March 1st 2010 by Penguin Books (first published January 1st 2010)
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Just a note to say that hey, the Labour party has just elected a new leader. He's a Jewish atheist who lives with his female partner but isn't married. Rock & roll?



Two brothers, sons of the king, grow up in the Palace. The younger brother, Antonio, is blessed with charm, is fair of face and has a golden tongue. The people love him. The older, Gordano, studies hard, knows by heart all the laws of the land, but y...more
This superbly written and highly detailed tome has the capacity, like many books about the New Labour project, to leave you wringing your hands in rage and frustration. It’s fundamentally depressing to see how little core belief there was at the centre. Whereas Clement Atlee (the first Labour Prime Minister to win a majority) came in and changed the entire social fabric of the country, Blair and Brown ran a government of headlines. It didn’t matter what the consequences actually were, or whether...more
Paul Cheney
Rawnsley has studied in detail the second and third terms of the New Labour project and has interviewed hundreds of politicians and civil servants both on and off the record.

This a monumental book in physical size and scope. The main focus of his gaze is the towering icons of Blair and Brown. This pair, along with Mandleson created the New Labour project and made the party electable. Even as they were still celebrating the win of the second election the cracks in the veneer were starting to show...more
Peter Kobryn
A comprehensive view behind the scenes of 10 Downing Street and its occupants between 2001 and 2010 this is a superb read for anyone with interests in British politics.

Starting from Labour's second successive landslide in 2001 this work by the excellent Andrew Rawnsley goes into fine detail about the way in which both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown managed their premierships.

Extensive and detailed sources help Rawnsley to provide astonishing insight into the happenings of the time, the determinatio...more
The End of the Party by Andrew Rawnsley is a history of England’s Labour Party in the first decade of the millennium. Rawnsley focuses on Tony Blair and then Gordon Brown in their attempt to achieve the New Labour Revolution and the reasons why, in the end, they fell so short of the dream. He is an excellent writer who gives a lively accounting while remaining, at least to my perception, straightforward and unbiased.

I was most interested by his account of the charismatic Tony Blair whose energy...more
Rob Manwaring
Tells the story of New labour from the second landslide election win in 2001, with a focus on the build up to the invasion of Iraq. It's hard to know whether to laugh, cry or curl up in a foetal position as you wince your way through some quite unbearable incidents...

This is a whopper of a book, and indeed is probably too long. Rawnsley has so many sources, and so many cross-referenced that the same point is often repeatedly made but from each different 'insider', which detracts from the overal...more
This is the follow up to Servants of the People Rawnsley's brilliant insight into Tony Blairs first term as British Prime Minister. This second book takes us all the way through the next two terms of Blairs premiership and the disastrous reign of his successor Gordon Brown.

Like the first book Rawnsley has had access to everybody involved including all the big names. The previous book exposed the rift between Blair and Brown which paralysed the government and showed the level of control exerted b...more
This is an excellent book which was very well referenced. It gives a very detailed analysis of the workings of the last Labour government from 2001 until its final death throes. It shows the strengths and weaknesses of the major characters in the government during the period. Although it is structured to follow the main chronology of events it is not written like a diary. Its chapters focus on the main events of each period and there are many overlaps because of that. But this really helps the r...more
This is by far the best book about New Labour and the politics of the first decade of the new century that I have read. And I've read a few. Forget the self-serving and deliberately obfuscating memoirs of Campbell, Darling and Blair himself. It takes a proper journalist to cut through the layers of flannel to get to a version of the truth that is almost believable. This is the first account I've read, for example, the leaves you with no doubt of the division between Blair and Brown, demonstratin...more
This book didn't tell me much about Blair I hadn't suspected. The whole period through the Iraq war was very much the 'Phony Tony', 'Bliar' I always figured him for... Rawnsley portrays him as someone who acts first and thinks later.

Whereas Brown thinks, then acts, then thinks some more, changes his mind, thinks more, dithers a bit longer, before finally acting only after the issue is all strained of any actual substance.

It seems like a very fair portrayal and meets with other secriptions of how...more
Mark Holmes
Simply one of the best books I have ever read - from any genre.

My interests in politics has lead me to read other works which basically confirm many of the observations Rawnsley develops. Even if you are not overtly interested in politics, the way our leaders behave in the name of power is quite simply breathtaking.

After starting their reign in power on a reasonable sure-footing, the unravelling is something else. It is almost Shakesperean with its tragic elements. Blair is revealed to be weak...more
It was apparent to anyone paying much attention during the Labour years that at the heart of our government was a deep personal animosity between Tony Blair and his Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown. What wasn't so readily apparent is just how much it affected the day to day running of the country.

Rawnsley's book is incisive, seems well-sourced, is engagingly written and reveals an abscess in the heart of Westminster. The extent to which the relationship between the two most powerful men...more
Matthew Ball

This book certainly isn't short at 800-odd pages, so it is just as well that all blurb on the cover to the effect that it is a real page-turner is justified. Rawnsley creates a real sense of drama, and even tragedy, out of the story of Britain's Labour Government from its re-election in 2001 to its final defeat in 2010.

This book doesn't pretend in the slightest to be a general, or even a political, history of Britain in those years. Its focus is rather on the personal relations and political inf...more
The End of The Party

To cut straight to the most important point, End of The Party is absolutely unputdownable.
Here we have, in one volume, a complete, detailed, penetrating, but most of all, highly readable, account of one of the most tumultuous, controversial, and interesting periods in modern British political history.
The two strengths are, firstly, it’s a work of investigative journalism, and therefore, has more insider scoops than you are likely to find elsewhere. Secondly, it’s highly reada...more
I liked Rawnsley's first book on the rise of New Labour so much, I almost felt obliged to read his version of the party's decline and fall. I have to say I found it much more of a slog to get through than the previous volume - partly just because of the amount of ground it covers but also, I felt, because for some reason or other best known to them the publishers hadn't given it the edit it needed (is it me, or does this happen more and more?). Certainly Rawnsley's gift for spinning a compelling...more
Aron Edwards
Fascinating account of the Labour party, that largely seems to avoid a bias, definitely worth a read.
David Cheshire
How on earth did ace-pragmatist Blair morph into a conviction politician and prophet of global interventionism in bed with Bush and the neocons? And how did fellow New Labour architect and brilliant chancellor Brown turn into such a shambolic, terminal Prime Minister? This is contemporary history at its best. It offers both the insider view of the stories you gawped at on 24 hour news at the time, and a genuine sense of historical perspective. Getting an historical sense of our own times is a to...more
Sarah Harkness
compulsive reading....appallingly fascinating. In future years this will undoubtedly be a prime source for historians - and if there is any bias, it must match my own preferences (ie mostly very admiring of Blair while aware of his weaknesses, but vicious about Brown and his circle) as I didn't disagree with any of rawnsley's conclusions. But you cant help but think how awful it would be to be Brown's sons reading this about their father in 20 years time....
Gareth Evans
Superb - a serious book in all regards - seriously large (760 pages plus of very small print) and a serious subject (seriously handled). The writing is superb - complex topics are handled extremely clearly, there is the right blend between anecdote and 'plot' and, occasionally, it is laugh-out-loud funny. Always engrossing, occasionally jaw dropping, this book offers wonderful insights into the last 2 terms of the labour government.
Jane Walker
While it's tempting to regard this as the definitive history of the later stages of New Labour, we should remember that Rawnsley is a journalist with his own perspective. However, I doubt there can be much argument about his accuracy. Perhaps the most disturbing thing to emerge from it (as from most accounts of government) is that a Prime Minister becomes an autocrat.
Stuart Townsend
If anyone wanted to know how corrupt, despicable and contemptible the socialist government of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown was - here is the book. Politicians get a bad press - and they deserve it in spades. There is no sign of any goodness in these people - they want power and will do ANYTHING to hold onto it - and all with out money.
Only 200 pages into this - half way through Iraq and the endlessly screwed up relationship with Brown and Blair.

It's just a very long piece of journalism - lots of incident but no analysis or synthesis which gets wearing.
Took me ages to read, off and on, having borrowed it froma friend I was feeling rather guilty. But a really detailed, well researched and readable book about the later Blair years and Brown's time as Prime Minister.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough - an absolutely brilliant history of New Labour 2001-2010. Already these events seem like a lifetime away...
Kamal Latif
Excellent, piercing insight into the eventful final years of New Labour rule and the personalities behind it. Engaging and exciting read all the way through.
Dave Tuck
A fascinating insight into the last years of Labour. An enjoyable read with interesting insights into how government now works.
Richard Browne
Very well written but gave up about 60% in when I realised that 99% of all Labour MPs are utter shitbags.
Paul Fadoju
A book for Posterity to see the effect of Labour on the mind of the British society
Good book, well written and it is also good to see what goes on in the corridor of Power.
Peter Kenny
Enjoyably readable account of the end of the New Labour Project.
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