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The Blair Years: Extracts from the Alastair Campbell Diaries
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The Blair Years: Extracts from the Alastair Campbell Diaries

3.8  ·  Rating details ·  682 Ratings  ·  49 Reviews
A revelatory account of Tony Blair’s tumultuous leadership, The Blair Years gathers extracts from the diaries of the man who knew him best: Alastair Campbell—Blair’s spokesman from 1994 to 2003, his press secretary, strategist, and closest confidant. It is a compelling chronicle of contemporary British politics and the rise of New Labour, providing the first important reco ...more
Hardcover, 794 pages
Published November 13th 2007 by Knopf Publishing Group (first published July 9th 2007)
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Jan 20, 2008 rated it liked it
It was known that Campbell kept a diary, a portion of which was later published as The Blair Years.Accurate,descriptive and persuasive, it provides the inside story of the labor government. Being a Journalist and then at the center of affairs through Blair's two government,the entries are pieced together with observant comments and reveal incidents of importance

Campbell, who was also said to be pointlessly combative, picked a fight with the BBC over the story. The chairman and director-general
May 18, 2008 rated it really liked it
Fascinating, but I have to constantly look at the list of characters at the front since he uses nicknames and initials. Am I the only one who thinks of tuberculosis when they see TB instead of Tony Blair?
Behrooz Barzegar
Dec 28, 2017 rated it liked it
A bit disappointing.
May 14, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true, war, political
This was the best political based book that I've ever read. I loved it! I had debated on reading the full diaries but decided to go for this version instead and it was a great read.

Alastair Campbell was a vital cog in the Tony Blair media machine, and it is interesting that Blair started losing popularity when Campbell quit. He was very good at what he did and was amusing to listen to. In this book he is open about his battle with alcohol addiction which he is doing so well to keep under control
Simon Taylor
Aug 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
With the publication of Chilcot's Iraq Inquiry, it seems a good time to revist the comments of a man who was right there when it happened: Alastair Campbell. Tony Blair's former spin doctor published his memoirs to 2003 in 2007, when Blair left office. (Blair's own memoirs followed in 2010.)

Unlike Blair's thematically-grouped autobiography, Campbell takes a chronological approach, beginning with Blair's ascent to power in 1994 until Campbell's resignation in 2003. It's frank, detailed and extre
Dec 27, 2008 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Large book, dipping in and out, perhaps comments as I go along.

24/04/09 - Well I'm up to 1996. It is interestingish... although I have taken an interest in politics it is something which developed post 9/11 and when I went to uni so I am not as au fait with the political climate when I was still in my early teens. It can be frustrating therefore to flick back and forth to try to remember who each abbreviation refers to, though there are footnotes now and again when somebody new is brought in or
Jul 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
Campbell was there at the Labour party’s triumphant resurgence and, oh yeah, there was some guy named Blair. It’s not quite that blatant but almost. It’s all about Alastair but then it is a diary after all. At the end you’ll wish it wasn’t. A little more thoughtful contemplation would have been welcomed. It seems like a lazy way to make a few (a lot, shurely?) bucks but it’s often a gripping read particularly during the Diana and Iraq periods. The Iraq stuff becomes a defense of Campbell’s role ...more
Sep 18, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one was a fascinating but quite difficult read. Had wanted to take a look since I heard Alistair Campbell was keeping a diary. Very interesting to remember news items and go back and see his version of it (and remember what you were doing at the time). Goes right from Labour’s election through to the Hutton enquiry. Some things came across really strongly – like how much infighting there was in Labour and how unfit they were from government before they got elected, how Blair’s speeches whic ...more
Stan Bebbington
Campbell's diaries cover the period before the 1997 election and during the subsequent government of Tony Blair. They have been edited by another writer and viewed by some of those mentioned prior to publication. Curiously the swearwords have not been edited out and it is interesting to speculate why they have been left in. To enhance the macho effect perhaps? Overall there is a feeling that the diarist is unable to judge the relative importance of his role and his exaggerated sense of importanc ...more
Oct 17, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: politics junkies
Shelves: politics-history
The movie The Queen was wonderful and made me even more pro-Blair than I had been before. During the whole post-911 development of foreign policy, I kept wishing that I lived in the country Tony Blair was running. So when this diary of Blair's press secretary came out, I thought I should get an insider's view of what Blair was like during those difficult times.
I just skimmed the major parts (Diana's death, 911, Iraq war), but Blair comes through as being exactly the guy I thought he was. At one
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“Some twat with a Trot poster came up to me on the way in and yelled ‘Butcher!’ Traitor!’ at me. I stopped and mustered as much visual contempt as I could, then assured him that if we win the general election then don’t worry, thanks to wankers like him, there will always be another Tory government along afterwards. These people make me vomit.” 2 likes
“For all its faults, our political process is a good one, and the means by which much meaningful change is made. That is not a very fashionable view to hold, but as someone who has operated at senior levels in journalism and politics, around a decade in each, it is my respect for the media that has shrunk, and my respect for politics that has grown.” 1 likes
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