How Blair Did It
Thanks to Oliver Kamm for including the new edition of my Tony Blair biography in his summer books round-up in The Times today (pay wall). Here is his review:
Tony Blair: Prime Minister by John Rentoul is a new edition of a book published in 2001. Rentoul has added a long afterword assessing Blair’s premiership after 9/11 and his political life since. It is a balanced and judicious treatment of a politician who inspires hatred from much the same people who denounced Thatcher.
The most remarkable of Blair’s achievements may have been becoming a Labour prime minister in the first place. Blair transformed a party still nominally wedded to socialist ideology and with a poor record in office into an electoral juggernaut.
This is a brilliant account of how Blair did it. Rentoul is unusual in admiring Blair increasingly in his record as PM. Commentators’ judgments tend to hinge on their prior beliefs about the Iraq War. Rentoul makes a cogent case that, on this, Blair’s motives “lay somewhere between the patriotic and the noble”.
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