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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,204 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Tony Blair Narrator: Tony Blair Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2010 ISBN: 9780739369845
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Tony Blair is a politician who defines our times. His emergence as Labour Party leader in 1994 marked a seismic shift in British politics. Within a few short years, he had transformed his party and rallied the country behind him, becoming prime minister in 1997 with the biggest victory in Labour’s history, and bringing to an end eighteen years of Conservative government. He took Labour to a historic three terms in office as Britain’s dominant political figure of the last two decades.

A Journey
 is Tony Blair’s firsthand account of his years in office and beyond. Here he describes for the first time his role in shaping our recent history, from the aftermath of Princess Diana’s death to the war on terror. He reveals the leadership decisions that were necessary to reinvent his party, the relationships with colleagues including Gordon Brown, the grueling negotiations for peace in Northern Ireland, the implementation of the biggest reforms to public services in Britain since 1945, and his relationships with leaders on the world stage—Nelson Mandela, Bill Clinton, Vladimir Putin, George W. Bush. He analyzes the belief in ethical intervention that led to his decisions to go to war in Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan, and, most controversially of all, in Iraq. 

A Journey
 is a book about the nature and uses of political power. In frank, unflinching, often wry detail, Tony Blair charts the ups and downs of his career to provide insight into the man as well as the politician and statesman. He explores the challenges of leadership, and the ramifications of standing up, clearly and forcefully, for what one believes in. He also looks ahead, to emerging power relationships and economies, addressing the vital issues and complexities of our global world.

Few British prime ministers have shaped the nation’s course as profoundly as Tony Blair, and his achievements and his legacy will be debated for years to come. Here, uniquely, we have his own journey, in his own words.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Unusually compelling reading for a political memoir. Best Books of 2010, Financial Times (UK)

  • Instructive—particularly on the art and discipline of centrist leadership. John Avlon, Favorite Books of 2010, The Daily Beast
  • Especially welcome.  Luckily A Journey is not one of those leaden bricks of official reminiscence.  The tone is confiding, informal and forthright . . . A Journey is a deeply personal book, full of candid revelations . . . It provides a priceless glimpse into the mind of the man who devoted himself to the transformation [of the Labour party]—and who stood by America in some of its darkest recent hours. Martin Rubin, The Wall Street Journal
     
  • Engaging and insightful . . . A better than usual contribution to the literary genre of political memoir. Claude R. Marx, The Boston Globe
  • Well-written and perhaps unintentionally self-revealing . . . Blair reveals himself through his thrusting political ambition, his rationales for decisions, his preoccupation with public image and his determination to play a prominent role on the world stage. Leonard Downie Jr., The Washington Post Book World
  • Engrossing . . . Blair writes honestly and openly. The style is not the elegant Oxbridge prose that might have been expected of a former prime minister but one filled with Americanisms. It is breezy, informal and candid enough to keep the reader thoroughly engaged. Fareed Zakaria, The New York Times Book Review
  • Fluently written . . . Engaging . . . Some of the most quoted bits of this book will doubtless include Mr. Blair’s thumbnail sketches of colleagues and acquaintances. Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
  • That Blair was a formidable politician can be seen in the glimpses we get of how his mind works . . . You are left thinking two things: that it would be a blessing if some of today’s politicians took note . . . and that, whatever your view of Blair, you still wouldn’t want to take him on in an election. John Lanchester, The New Yorker
  • A political biography of unusual interest . . . Blair is one of the great politicians of this generation and that makes his candid moments particularly interesting. Tim Rutten, The Philadelphia Inquirer
  • Compelling . . . Candid and comprehensive. Glenn C. Altschuler, Tulsa World
     
  • Uncommonly candid . . . A vividly rendered account of life in office, with plenty of beneficial pointers to aspiring politicos on either side of the Atlantic. Starred review, Kirkus
  • Discerning . . . Behind the scenes in the halls of power is always an interesting place to go, and Blair takes us there with delight on his part and on our part.             Booklist
  • Blair’s candor can be bracing.  He paints comic scenes of excruciating audiences with dull dignitaries and the weekly torment of Prime Minister’s Questions . . . and never hides his preoccupation with image-crafting and media relations.  Blair reveals himself to be savvy, charming, and sometimes earnest and impassioned. Publishers Weekly

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Harpal | 2/7/2014

    " 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 Ireland peace process is both engrossing and instructive, I think, but little else is in the book. His defense of Iraq is reasonable but unrevealing of anything that wasn't or hasn't already been said. Last, his final couple of chapters, dealing with his last few years in office, continuously fighting off calls for his departure, were mostly boring and overly detailed. Gordon Brown doesn't like him. He strayed too far from the base of the party, etc., etc. I get it. I don't need a blow-by-blow analysis. Still, there are some delightful tidbits of info, like his hillarious and extreme antipathy towards PM Questions, some of his early experiences in the party when he got dominated, and a few absurd moments during the Good Friday negotiations. On the whole, Blair comes across as a thoroughly nice fellow, an electoral dynamo, a resolute (dare I say stubborn?) decision-maker, and a hardworker. But where will that leave him amongst the pantheon of British PMs? He's not really an intellectual giant, and, if his New Labour policies are undone by his own party, nor will he be thought of as a political one. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Florence May | 1/28/2014

    " Disappointing. Expected a great book from such an interesting speaker but it was a very self-congratulatory bio. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ipswichblade | 1/23/2014

    " Prime Minister Tony Blair, how good does that sound with the current awful ConDem government. This is an excellent book which in the main is Mr Blairs tenure as prime minister, there is a bit from his early life and early politics but it is the 10 years at the top that makes up most of the book. All the big events are here including Iraq, 7/7 etc and also there is the continuing battle with Gordon Brown. Its easy to remember Blair just for Iraq (although aren't we looking at regime change in Libya in the same way currently) but there is so much positive stuff especially from the early years especially rebuilding our schools and NHS that had been allowed to run down during the Tory years. I think history will judge that Blair was a first rate leader of the country and over the next few years I think his stock will rise "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jim Oglr | 1/17/2014

    " I enjoy and appreciate this volume. I enjoyed the perspective "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Neil Mudde | 1/16/2014

    " I was looking forward to a good read, alas it became tedious after a few chapters, I then decided to read about specific topics, "Dianne" which was interesting, his view on the newer generation of royals, comparing it with the queen who is duty bound, upperclass, stiff and as far as I am concerned boring as all get out, the only good thing going for her, she maintains her looks, but I would imagine living for 85+ years and being waited on hand and foot, would not cause too much wear. Interesting of the turmoil within her own family, I wonder if she ever feels that she should have devoted more time to her children when they were young in stead of having others take care of them.. I then read about his decision to enter the war with the us, his relationship with bush, one can tell blair is a diplomat, and is very careful in not offending anyone, the book therefore in spite of its many pages, and chapters, appeared to me like "I will tell you only what I want you to know", I felt at the start of the book it held great promise, describing his background, talking about his Father, her should have spent more time in talking about those years. After choosing the chapters to read, I feel I know nothing about tony blair as a person, and when I see his face I always think of his smile being a facade of what may be going on inside of him, off course he is british, and above all, you must at all time show a stiff upper lip "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Matt | 1/11/2014

    " I loved learning about the intricacies of Blair's life and his political rise to power, as well as his keeping the GB Team from staging their inevitable coup. Blair writes a thoroughly enjoyable memoir, one that I would insist the politically-minded individual read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeff Wills | 12/31/2013

    " Excellent book. TB is one the great politicians of our age. This book really tells you why. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Raimo Wirkkala | 12/17/2013

    " An overly long, self-serving, attempt to justify his leadership of Great Britain and "New Labour". The man certainly has a healthy ego. Reads like he dictated it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Stuart | 12/13/2013

    " A good read. He comes across well and it shows how he had a vision of getting into power and making a difference. Few agree with all he did but he demonstrated that change had to happen and he pushed through those changes against significant opposition. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Stephen | 9/29/2013

    " not the best policial biography have read before "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Libby | 8/8/2013

    " An honest account of his time as prime minister. Although perhaps not the whole truth. Really interesting read, and he speaks respectfully of his colleagues - he didn't take this as an opportunity to air dirty laundry. And some funny moments too. Worth wading through the 660 pages. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Enko Khurlee | 5/17/2013

    " Was not what I expected and stopped reading it at pp.50 "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jens Lindblad | 4/10/2013

    " Mr. Blair comes across as self-important. Only he could achieve this and do that. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sjo | 1/16/2013

    " I enjoyed the read...if you're a political junkie, and enjoy UK politics, then this is a surprisingly earnest accounting of Blair's rise and fall. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ryan | 11/3/2012

    " Tony Blair spends too much time being a gentleman and making sure to compliment every last person he has ever disagreed with. Gut this book of 436 pages and it might have the beginnings of a good memoir. Although I like Tony Blair, I deeply, deeply dislike his editor. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Graeme Roberts | 10/27/2012

    " This is not riveting blow-by-blow action and intrigue, but is one of the best and most important books I have ever read. It is the ultimate leadership handbook, by one of the greatest leaders of centuries 20 and 21. I will write more when I have time. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lily | 2/29/2012

    " I enjoyed listening to Tony Blair himself read these memoirs. Even though one expects such books to be self serving, I find them to provide new insights about the world's political leaders. This is one of several of this genre I have listened to this past year. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ben | 5/11/2011

    " Fascinating stuff. Blair is not a great writer, and the conversational style grates at times, but it's still an extremely interesting insight into the life of the most successful UK politician of the last 25 years. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jim | 4/21/2011

    " I enjoy reading books on the lives of contemporary and past leaders. No question about it, I had a lot to learn about British politics. Much of which I discovered was not applicable to my personal life, but casually interesting none the less. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Farhan | 4/19/2011

    " Enjoyed it more than I thought I would, and got through it quicker than I thought I would. Interesting to me as I spent my first 8 years in the UK during Blair's run. Really interesting to hear his rationale for a lot of the decisions that I disagreed with. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mary Ann | 4/18/2011

    " I enjoyed the book, was very interesting & informative. Learned a great many things. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christopher | 4/4/2011

    " Surprisingly lightfooted observations. Not exactly a heavy weight or detailed analysis of the world as it was or indeed is still. The personality shines through clear and bright, even if you don't necessarily agree with some policy decisions. A surpisingly quick and enjoyable, if lightweight read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alice | 3/27/2011

    " Very interesting and personal look into Tony Blair as Britain's Prime Minister. A good read! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Libby | 3/7/2011

    " An honest account of his time as prime minister. Although perhaps not the whole truth. Really interesting read, and he speaks respectfully of his colleagues - he didn't take this as an opportunity to air dirty laundry. And some funny moments too. Worth wading through the 660 pages. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ryan | 2/10/2011

    " Tony Blair spends too much time being a gentleman and making sure to compliment every last person he has ever disagreed with. Gut this book of 436 pages and it might have the beginnings of a good memoir. Although I like Tony Blair, I deeply, deeply dislike his editor. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joanne | 2/5/2011

    " This is a very interesting book. I particularly enjoyed the chapters on Diana and the royal family and Northern Ireland. I got bogged down in some of the local politics chapters. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sjo | 2/5/2011

    " I enjoyed the read...if you're a political junkie, and enjoy UK politics, then this is a surprisingly earnest accounting of Blair's rise and fall. "

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