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Whatever It Takes: The Real Story of Gordon Brown and New Labour
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Whatever It Takes: The Real Story of Gordon Brown and New Labour

3.9  ·  Rating details ·  40 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
At the beginning of the financial crisis, in September 2008, Gordon Brown called an emergency press conference in which he declared, 'we will do whatever it takes to restore stability in the financial markets'.
Paperback, 456 pages
Published August 24th 2011 by Fourth Estate (GB) (first published September 16th 2010)
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Jul 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
I picked up a copy after hearing the author interviewed on

Its very well written, and races along at a fair pace, which is a good thing because a 450 page book about the internecine squabbles of the Labour party from 1992 to 2010 could all too easily end up being a rather tedious read.

What really makes this interesting is that it has something of the quality of the tragedy about it - in the old-fashioned sense of a hero who is doomed by his own character flaws.
Helen Rudolf
Jan 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is an interesting, though occasionally frustrating, read. Richards analyses Gordon Brown's career as shadow chancellor, chancellor and prime minister. He tries to give a rounded and nuanced analysis of his track record but peppered with examples of a level of bizarre and bullying behaviour which he doesn't really explain or excuse; it's just left hanging. He provides little or no insight into GB's personal life which, given he married, had the tragedy of a premature baby who died shortly af ...more
Nov 02, 2016 rated it liked it
Interesting and perceptive political biography of the least successful but probably most principled prime minister of the 21st century, examining how he was instrumental in the creation of New Labour but was beaten to the leadership of the Labour Party by his more presentable but less principled colleague Tony Blair. As Shadow Chancellor and later Chancellor he took many important decisions in his aim of reducing poverty, notably the introduction of Working Tax Credit, but was much too timid in ...more
Steve Gillway
Feb 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: politics
This is an interesting insight into the workings of UK politics, following Gordon Brown's career thoughout all its phases. The writer is someone eminently close to the action with access to all the ,ain players. I was struck by the painstaking manner that Brown took over devising policy. Particularly, the words he used. "Choice" was a word he seemed to hate and strategically avoided. It seems to me that as long as focus was on the policy and the words Brown was OK, but when he had to be a manage ...more
James Bateman
Aug 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Superb look at an intensely troubled time in No 10. The author writes well and gently exposes Browns numerous faults whilst also reminding us that he got many things right as a chancellor and during the financial crisis. Whatever Gordon Browns flaws he was certainly intertesting. If you are sort of interested in politics or Gordon Brown or New Labour, then this is a must read.
May 11, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: politics, economics
To use a word he (over)uses himself, this is a forensic analysis of Gordon Brown's career at the top of the Labour Party. It has the all the hallmarks of being accurate, and it is also sympathetic if critical. An essential guide to understanding New Labour.
David Highton
Nov 07, 2015 rated it liked it
very perceptive analysis, but not a comprehensive picture of all relevant events and short of evidence
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