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I found this book most interesting. The section of the book about his time as Chancellor of the Exchequer under Tony Blair was the best part of the book. He was the longest serving Chancellor and managed to accomplish many reforms besides saving the UK in the 2008 recession and global financial crisis. He tackled the problem of child poverty and increased the old age pension. He blocked Blair from taking Britain into the Euro. He allowed the Bank of England operational independence. He increased the insurance contribution to the National Health Insurance. Brown also acknowledged his mistakes such as the 10p tax band. He also stated he failed to notice how reckless the banks had become prior to the 2008 crash.
Brown revealed his ugly side when discussing the conflict between himself and Tony Blair. He appeared to primarily blame Blair. In the section about his time as Prime Minister he appeared overwhelmed and unable to cope with crisis after crisis. I admire the fact that he was an idealist and went into politics to help the middle class.
The book is well written. When I read a political memoir, I except the person to present themselves in a possible way. Brown did that. Although in the last part of the book he came across that he was not cut out for the job as Prime Minister, but he was a great Chancellor of the Exchequer. Unlike some politicians he did not analysis his actions either positive or negative. I do appreciate the memoirs where the author is able to do an in-depth analysis of themselves, but I guess that is a fairly rare occurrence. Over all, I enjoyed the book and I learned more about the functioning of the British government. I must do a better job of reading about people in various countries.
Be prepared to spend some time on this book as it is twenty hours long. Gordon Kennedy does a good job narrating the book. Kennedy is a Scottish actor and audiobook narrator.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
This book is a long overdue account of Gordon Brown's 20 years at the top of the Labour Party. It shows how he stopped Tony Blair moving the party even further to the right but also how he made Britain a fairer country, through tax credits, the minimum wage and investments in public services. It also shows Brown's strengths, mastery of detail, but also his weaknesses, trusting his colleagues and communicating his message. Overall well worth a listen, but I still felt there were many areas which he could have covered which he chose not to, for example relationships with Charlie Whelan and Damien Mcbride.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
This remarkable account serves as a useful reminder of what can be achieved by dedicated intelligent ethical public servants, and it should serve as a warning against the other kind of politicians. Incredible explanation of the avoidance of recession, and the challenge of war amongst many other strategic topics. A talented man.