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

3.51  ·  Rating details ·  3,669 ratings  ·  325 reviews
In 1997, the biggest Labour victory in history swept England, ending eighteen years of Conservative government. Prime Minister Tony Blair — young, charismatic and complex — shaped the nation profoundly in the ten years that followed. From his work in Northern Ireland to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, few of his decisions were free from scrutiny and debate. Alternately b ...more
Hardcover, 720 pages
Published September 2nd 2010 by Knopf Canada (first published 2010)
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Average rating 3.51  · 
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 ·  3,669 ratings  ·  325 reviews


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Mark
Feb 05, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 13, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: auto-and-biog
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
Aaron Million
Dec 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair is refreshingly candid in his memoir. Written in 2010, it chronicles mainly his long run at Number 10 Downing Street (1997-2007). Blair tosses in bits and pieces of his life prior to those years, such as the time he confronted a bully in school,but only when he becomes Opposition Leader while John Major is Prime Minister does the story begin in earnest. Blair is forthright and unvarnished in his opinions about his Cabinet Secretaries, Members of Parliamen ...more
Simon Taylor
Aug 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Andrea
Aug 04, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: biography
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
Will
Oct 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I got some funny looks while reading this, but it was definitely worth it - one of the best and most insightful political memoirs I've read.

He structured it really nice thematic (and broadly chronological) structure, so you can just dip in and out of chapters such as: Peace in Northern Ireland, Kosovo, the 2005 Election, etc. This makes it easy to read, but also means I'll probably flick through it in future.

It's a massive book, and I've got dozens of thoughts on it, but a few points that immed
...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
Jim Bowen
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
Jim B
Jan 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Simon Sundboell
Jul 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owns
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
Mr.L.Palmer
Dec 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed this and confirmed a preexisting view of TB as the consummate politician with both the positive and negative connotations that would imply. Masterful at bringing the reader onboard to his perspective. Also fascinating to understand how the foundations of third way politics were laid and the cracks that ultimately lead to the dismantlement of NL.
Marwan Asmar
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.
Hywel Owen
Sep 10, 2010 rated it it was ok
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.
Nooilforpacifists
Oct 13, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: british-history
Shockingly boring. Irrelevant details; crammed with chest-beating. There's a story in there begging to be released.
Ken
Aug 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Whilst going through a spell of reading biographies I decided to give this a try.
Having grown up with Blair as the Prime Minister, it was interesting to see he’s thought process during that time.
Joe Martin
Jan 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Jamie Cook
Dec 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audio-books
I felt this book was interesting and entertaining. Blair is a fascinating political figure...with his liberal stance on social issues and conservative views on national security he would be an anomaly in American politics. He’s intelligent, candid and witty.
James Herbert
Jun 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Blair’s clearly not a great writer but don’t let that you stop you from reading a first hand account of such a significant period in British social democracy.
Sotiris Makrygiannis
The first chapters of Tony’s book remind me the early days of the Troy war.
Iphigenia is sacrificed, and then the warlords start the 12 years invasion and occupation of Troy lands.

In this case, Iphigenia a tragic character is, of course, Princess Diana and the warlords are Tony Blair and George Bush with a strong correlation between Odysseus and General Petraeus.

The sequence of events does match Iliad, but let us take them from the start.

Tony, a young lawyer, gets excited about Governing and pen
...more
Tom Coates
Sep 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Peter Myers
Sep 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
The first part of the book was very good, particularly some of the insights into the early years. I found the second half of the book tedious and hard going
Simon Howard
Jun 22, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Andrew
Jul 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Tony Daniel
Sep 06, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: biography, history
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
Andy
Sep 03, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012, autobiography
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
Sep 10, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Glyn
Dec 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Jo
May 20, 2011 rated it did not like it
This is one of the very few autobiographies I just couldn't finish. I LIKE autobiographies -- and political ones are usually good as they give me behind the scenes insight & I like political autobiographies of folks in my lifetime even better for that reason. I was looking forward to a good read, but it became quite tedious after a few chapters. I forced myself to continue but ultimately couldn't force myself to finish it. The book might be more interesting for those with an understanding or kno ...more
Kirsten
Sep 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
Believe it or not, I started this book nearly 2 years ago!! Just incredible. But, please don't judge this book's readability by the length of time it took me to read it. It was very readable.

The reasons I wanted to read it were varied: (1) I have always had great admiration for former Prime Minister Blair; (2) British politics have always fascinated me; (3) I was interested in the events this would cover.

Though, I object to Mr Blair's involvement in the Iraq War and his alliance and endorsement
...more
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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

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“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”  Theodor Geisel said...
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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.” 6 likes
“What Dad taught me above all else, and did so utterly unconsciously, was why people like him became Tories. He had been poor. He was working class. He aspired to be middle class. He worked hard, made it on his merits, and wanted his children to do even better than him. He thought – as did many others of his generation – that the logical outcome of this striving, born of this attitude, was to be a Tory. Indeed, it was part of the package. You made it; you were a Tory: two sides of the same coin. It became my political ambition to break that connection, and replace it with a different currency. You are compassionate; you care about those less fortunate than yourself; you believe in society as well as the individual. You can be Labour. You can be successful and care; ambitious and compassionate; a meritocrat and a progressive. These are entirely compatible ways of making sure progress happens; and they answer the realistic, not utopian, claims of human nature.” 3 likes
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