Dianne's Reviews > The Third Man

The Third Man by Peter Mandelson
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's review
Mar 09, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: autobiography, political
Recommended for: politics
Read in March, 2011

I remember the fuss when this book first came out in serial form in The Times. The problem with newspaper excerpts is that they concentrate on the more 'sexy' pieces.

It is a well written absorbing read (if the subject interests you) of the rise and fall of New Labour. Of the three young men responsible for the development of New Labour policies which kept Labour in power for three terms, Mandelson is the background figure who co-ordinated campaigns and acted as mediator and sounding board for both Prime Ministers in the long bitter power struggle between Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. He has tried to be dispassionate and fair, but Brown does come off worst in this assessment.

My own impression is that of the three, Mandelson got the short straw. Apart from his period in Europe, his active life in the Westminster theatre has been brief with unexpected abrupt endings. Now he is in the House of Lords I suppose it is just a matter of time before electoral reform sends him once again into the background. His ability to cope with hostile press and television interviews is impressive.

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