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Tony Blair – A Journey

24 November 2011 No Comment
Tony Blair - A Journey

Tony Blair - A Journey

A Journey is a memoir written by Tony Blair, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom between 1997 and 2007. Published on 1 September 2010, it is an account of how he became leader of the Labour Party in 1994 and transformed the party into “New Labour”; the party held power for a record three successive terms. The book also details events after his resignation and replacement as Prime Minister by his Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown. The memoir was initially titled The Journey, and plans to publish it were announced in March 2010; it was renamed A Journey prior to publishing. Blair donated his £4.6m advance, and all subsequent royalties, to the British Armed Forces charity the Royal British Legion; this decision received a mixed reception. Within hours of being launched, it became the fastest-selling autobiography of all time in one chain of book stores. Protesters disapproving of the Iraq War disrupted a book signing in Dublin on the weekend after the launch. This led to the cancellation of a book signing and launch party in London, amid fears of further hostility.

The book covers much-debated issues such as Blair’s latterly strained relationship with Brown after allegedly making a pact with him in 1994 to step down much earlier, as well as his controversial decision to take Britain into war with the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the aftermath of which, Blair says in the book, was a “nightmare”. The publication discusses Labour’s future following Brown’s defeat in the May 2010 general election; his relations with the Royal Family; and how he came to “like and admire” PresidentGeorge W. Bush. In the final chapter, Blair warns that Labour must not return to the left-wing policies of the 1980s. Mixed reviews of the memoir appeared in the media; some journalists criticised Blair’s writing style, but others praised the publication, saying the book was “candid.” British novelist John Lanchester described the book as “a detailed account of scrambling, scraping, horse-trading, bluffing, and fudging the way to a deal—a remarkable combination of the ramshackle and the historic.”

Along with media reaction, several prominent figures expressed their views about the book. Gordon Brown was reportedly “seething” over the criticism he received from Blair in the book, but he told aides not to criticise the publication. Labour politician Alistair Darling said the book “shows us what can be done when we have confidence, clarity and a clear sense of purpose: we can win and change the country for the better.” Families of servicemen and servicewomen who were killed in Iraq reacted angrily to the book, in which Blair does not apologise for the invasion; a spokesperson for an organisation against the Iraq War described Blair’s comments about regretting the loss of life as “completely meaningless.” Shortly after the release of the book, the screenwriter of the 2006 film The Queen, which depicts Blair’s first months in office, accused Blair of plagiarising dialogue from the film in his description of a conversation with Elizabeth II. [Source]

Download ebook: Tony Blair – A Journey

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