A Journey: My Political Life
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A Journey: My Political Life

3.43 of 5 stars 3.43  ·  rating details  ·  1,663 ratings  ·  247 reviews
Tony Blair is a politician who defines our times. His emergence as Labour Party leader in 1994 marked a seismic shift in British politics. Within a few short years, he had transformed his party and rallied the country behind him, becoming prime minister in 1997 with the biggest victory in Labour’s history, and bringing to an end eighteen years of Conservative government. H...more
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Published September 2nd 2010 by Random House Audio (first published January 1st 2010)
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Mark
Feb 05, 2012 Mark rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Gordon Brown
This is a difficult book to review really, To be flippant, as I reflected on which shelves to place it I did wonder about placing it on fantasy or surreal and i suppose in some ways it would fit loosely onto 'history' but all in all, though i am pleased I read it and I suppose every arch critic of Mr Blair ought to, yet i still finished it feeling a little dissatisfied and disgruntled. Why, I am not totally certain.

On a number of occasions he spoke of Gordon Brown, who i have to confess i have e...more
Caroline
General spoiler alert (the book is discussed in detail)

I’m writing this review because a couple of friends have said it is okay to do so, in spite of my appalling political ignorance. If you are seeking wide-ranging insights, stop here. For the most part I am simply going to plonk down what I understand that Tony Blair did and did not achieve – and I offer no criticism on any of his policies.

I liked the book, and felt that Blair wrote it with much honesty; I felt that I got to know the man, his...more
Margitte
I always had, and always will have, the greatest admiration for Tony Blair. According to another source, not his book, he pledged to make Britain a young country again and the world a better place. He was the most popular British prime minster in human history. He was the pop-idol of world politics. His keyword was modernization, embodied in a young leader.

He starts off his book by saying: On 2 May 1997, I walked into Downing Street as prime minister for the first time. I have never held office,...more
Andrea
I'm glad I read this, don't let 2 stars dissuade you. But get it from your beloved public library like I did please, you know, the ones that are getting cut. He doesn't deserve your money, that's for sure. There's so much to say, but I'll keep this as short as I can.

Mr Blair is certainly very clever. This is like a little babbling brook of cleverness, a little superficial stream of frankness and honesty. There is very little of substance here. I can't even tell if what's written is as deep as he...more
Simon Taylor
Given that this is a review of Tony Blair’s memoirs, and not of his policies or of Blair himself, I shan’t be delving too deeply into the actual decisions represented in the book. Whatever your political loyalties, it is undeniable that Tony Blair is one of the most memorable Prime Ministers in modern history. His decisions are among the most controversial, and there is a real sense of intrigue surrounding his memoirs.

The much-hyped, long-awaited volume promised to go inside the head of the man...more
Jim
Tony Blair, the former British Prime Minister, wrote this book. It's about his period as leader of the Labour Party and Prime Minister (mostly), though he does mentions the parts of his earlier life, as it fits into the story he wanted to tell.

To be honest, I found this book smug and slightly infuriating. I've now read both George Bush's and Tony Blair's book (I was interested in the run up to war) and this book was (without a shadow of a doubt) the more irritating of the two.

In the book Blair d...more
Simon Sundboell
You can agree or disagree with Tony Blair and you can question his quest for - as another book title says - a legacy. But in my humble opinion, he is still one of the most charismatic leaders the world has seen in a long time - and combine that with his eloquence, flair for a good argument, modern view on UK and the world and his willingness to act (the latter is a long lost trait in many politicians today), and you have a world class leader.

In this book, he is honest - as honest as a autobiogra...more
Hywel Owen
Disappointing, but not unsurprising. Blair's unpolished writing reflects his Messianic and narcissistic views, coupled with a slightly Marx-ian view of historical inevitability. This could be excused if there were interesting revelations, but actually he remains on-message. Too long.
Marwan Asmar
Sep 02, 2010 Marwan Asmar marked it as to-read
This maybe a good book to read because of its layback style, if not for its politics that must be revealing in itself. Reviewers are pointing to the unexpected, chatty way he says things which is not at all expected from an Oxford-educated politician.
Tom Coates
I really have no idea where to start with this one. It's written in a strange informal style that on occasion grates enormously, but makes it pretty readable at the same time. It's not revolutionary in insight - I doubt there's much here that people will be radically shocked by - but it spells out some of the stuff that he feels about the changing role of politics, which feels, well, right.

In a way, it's fascinatingly unspectacular, in mostly the right way. And it resembles Blair's Labour party...more
Glyn
I liked Tony Blair.

As a young man in the early 1990s, I completely bought into his vision for change where the old political battle lines between left and right needed to be cast aside, and a new agenda, as a third way progressive should be embraced. But I fear he lost his way, as international events distracted him from the domestic mission. I'm sure many would say that his legacy is severely tainted by Iraq and Afghanistan, and I wanted to read this book to get an insight into the mind that wa...more
Topher Hooperton
For a politician who embraced, and arguably embodied, the age of celebrity, it seems appropriate that Tony Blair has dutifully released a book that is more autobiography than political memoir (by his own admission), to sit alongside the scores of hardbacks by sport-stars, glamour models and reality TV contestants.

What follows is a personal account of the changes he went through as a world leader, and how it felt to be at the eye of the storm. It also forms a manifesto for the New Labour project...more
Andrew
Actually, I'm not quite finished, but close enough to go ahead and send up a brief review.

There are ways in which I disagree with Tony Blair, and ways in which I cheer him on. There are aspects of his worldview I share and resonate with, and aspects that I don't or can't share, at least not entirely. Two of the things I appreciate the most about him are his "third way" worldview that seeks an alternative to extreme positions, and his belief in doing the right thing even at personal or political...more
Simon Howard
Tony Blair's autobiography gives a real and detailed insight into what it's like to be Prime Minister. Politically, there's little in here that we haven't heard before, but the detail and explanation of how and why decisions were reached seemed interesting to me. The "behind the scenes" detail of the huge events that occurred under Tony Blair's leadership provided genuine insight, if not new information.

Yet, it's considerably hampered by the writing style, which resembles transcribed speech. It...more
Joe Martin
This book caught my eye because I knew very little about Tony Blair. I knew he was the Prime Minister in Britain. I knew he was the leader of the Labour Party and a big government, big spending progressive. I knew he was President Bush’s staunchest ally in the war on terror. And, that’s about it. I really didn’t know anything about what he actually tried to accomplish in Britain or why. I didn’t know anything about who he was or what he made him tick. And, after reading Decision Points, I was in...more
Jim B
Everyone who lived through this era should read Tony Blair's book on his years in office. Blair uses the book to give his view of what he was trying to (and did) achieve, and what his motives were. He never forgets that he is human, frail, and can be mistaken in his views (although his willingness to admit he could be wrong grew markedly less when he wrote about the final two years in office.

I had believed that President Bush knew there were no "Weapons of Mass Destruction" in Iraq, but Mr. Blai...more
Andy
I'm not sure why I read this. I don't read political memoirs and I never voted for Blair (in the elections I was able to vote in) but I quite liked him and his political take in the early days. For me, New Labour came in at the height of the Britpop/'Cool Britannia' era, approaching the end of my teens. An important time personally but I wasn't that politically minded back then. Current stronger political opinion (and knowledge) aside I feel he did a fair amount of good for the country and despi...more
Harpal
Aside from the occasional, amusing anecdote, this book was mostly disappointing. Tony Blair revolutionized the Labour Party, and yet he spends a paltry 30 to 40 pages describing the development of his thought process into the "New Labour" transformation. Frankly, it's intellectually shallow enough that, after having read his book, I'm actually beginning to buy the allegations that New Labour was a less a coherent political philosophy and more an electoral strategy. The chapter about the Northern...more
Tony Daniel
Blair's account of his time in office as prime minister of England. Ended up really enjoying this. Blair is very good at constructing enough of an open and honest persona that you're willing to suspend your disbelief and allow that he's at least attempting to give you the straight story, at least by his own lights. You know you're being spun, but it's kind of enjoyable to watch how a master does it, even if you are the mark. He's also quite good at giving the reader glimpses of what he wants you...more
Phillip
First of all, I "cheated." This was an audiobook, but it was read by PM Blair, so I don't care. And it also something like 16 hours long, so ... leave me alone.

But, it was great. I loved his discussion of "New Labour" and how he helped lead the minority party to its first win in 20 years. The evolution of the Tony Blair-Gordon Brown relationship, i.e., it's rise and fall, was also very intriguing.

The period of his premiership covered an interesting time in history: Rwanda, Kosovo, 9/11, Northern...more
Thomas Allen
I just finished off this audiobook and have come to the conclusion that Tony Blair is an extremely principled and honorable fellow. I already knew that, no matter the media attacks, his personal vision completely changed politics in Britain for the better on both sides of the political spectrum because it caused everyone to honestly evaluate the way they do business. This book addresses the hard decisions and personal pain over making those decisions that Mr. Blair had to endure. I may not agree...more
Ryan Scicluna
A good perspective into Britain from 1990 to 2005/7. It is a heavy read and in the end quite repetitive. Here Tony Blair tries to picture himself as an honest, good willed man. Some people are quite dubious of that. What I can agree with is that he is a good leader in a sense that he did take the unpopular decisions at the time if that was what was needed. I think he is a great politician especially on foreign policy.

This book is a good read if one is interested in politics but I suggest you re...more
Sean Vangordon
I find Tony Blair a fascinating character in British and World Politics in the last twenty years. The book has multiple layers that are both positive and drawbacks for the reader.

First, as a student of politics, the book is a fascinating read. The book is full of insight about political parties, and organization. If you read past the story of his rise to power, you find several nuggets about making political parties relevant, and how winners turn to losers or vice-versa.

Second, as a biography, y...more
Mona
Loved it. Mr. Blair is a brilliant man-he shows what it takes to be a P.M.--looking at issues from all sides,and having the capacity to strategize constantly. He leaves nothing out,mainly due to his immaculate notes and journals he kept during his time in office. What really surprises me ,however,is his deep admiration for George Bush. Mmmm-don't quite get that, even though he gives his reasons for doing so.
Highly recommend this book,even though it took me ages to read,it was well worth it.
Kevin Sullivan
Although this book was perhaps a little more verbose than I would have preferred, I did find this to be a very interesting & compelling read. I respected Tony Blair for his achievements before reading the book, and feel even stronger about this now, even though I am personally a dyed in the wool conservative!! I think the world would be a better place if we had more politicians like Mr. Blair who while you may not always agree with them, they carry on their duties with honour & integrity...more
Dhitri
Oh dear, I have barely gone through the second chapter and the book's already dragging. I am both irritated and charmed but the strangely chatty style--but to be honest, he digresses a lot and there are way too much detail without enough context for someone who is not exactly an observer of British politics. I have decided to shelf the book (and other memoirs) and pick up something closer to my heart... I may go back to this book in a few weeks or so.
BooksAndTea
Decidedly mixed book about Tony Blair's time as Prime Minister of Great Britain. A lot of people hate him for what he did to Labour (or for bringing the party into power...), for Iraq or just in general. I sincerely doubt this book will do much to change their minds.

The book is mostly framed during his time at No. 10 Downing Street, with glimpses of his time before and after. Most chapters look at single events (Labour coming into power, the death of Princess Diana, etc.) Some events or stories...more
Simba Sagwete
If you don't like the man, you'll probably dismiss this - his side of the story - as rhetoric from the master of spin. I liked Tony Blair and this book gave me justification for doing so despite the mistakes he made as a leader. It's very long though I go through it in about a week simply because I couldn't put it down. I skipped the chapter on Northern Ireland and the peace talks - probably his greatest achievement - because it requires a bit of prior knowledge from the reader. But I loved this...more
Craig
Sep 14, 2010 Craig rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Hardcore Blairites only
Dreadfully written and rarely interesting - a massive disappointment.
Alex Ariyadasa-Sáez
Shakespeare for the modern age.
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"A Journey" 2 30 Apr 04, 2011 06:29PM  
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Anthony Charles Lynton "Tony" Blair is a British politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 2 May 1997 to 27 June 2007, Leader of the Labour Party from 1994 to 2007 and Member of Parliament for Sedgefield from 1983 to 2007. On the day he stood down as Prime Minister, he was appointed official Envoy of the Quartet on the Middle East on behalf of the United Nations, the Europ...more
More about Tony Blair...
New Britain: My Vision Of A Young Country The Third Way: New Politics For The New Century The Courage of Our Convictions (Fabian Ideas) Let Us Face the Future--: The 1945 Anniversary Lecture Socialism

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“I had discovered long ago the first lesson of political courage: to think anew. I had then learned the second: to be prepared to lead and to decide. I was now studying the third: how to take the calculated risk. I was going to alienate some people, like it or not. The moment you decide, you divide.” 5 likes
“The first rule in politics is that there are no rules, at least not in the sense of inevitable defeats or inevitable victories. If you have the right policy and the right strategy, you always have a chance of winning. Without them, you can lose no matter how certain the victory seems.” 2 likes
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