I first heard Tony Blair speak when he delivered Princess Diana's eulogy. I found his account of his political career fascinating. There is much insight to be had, for an American, in listening to a leader of the Labour Party in Britain explain his reasoning for the War in Iraq. It fit closely with George W. Bush's account in Decision Points. As a reader of Churchill, I enjoyed Blair's command of the English language.
He is very honest and open in accounting his experiences in office.
I just finished off this audiobook and have come to the conclusion that Tony Blair is an extremely principled and honorable fellow. I already knew that, no matter the media attacks, his personal vision completely changed politics in Britain for the better on both sides of the political spectrum because it caused everyone to honestly evaluate the way they do business. This book addresses the hard decisions and personal pain over making those decisions that Mr. Blair had to endure. I may not agree with the total sum of his politics; but after this book, I can respect his reasoning in addition to respecting the man. This is a very compelling listen. Mr. Blair is not the greatest narrator ever (kind of fast talking with sudden stops), but his reading this relays a very personal telling and is well worth it.
Readers can like or dislike Blair (even as George Bush draws detractors). However, I approach each memoir willing to hear the author's side of the story. If you want to like Blair you'll find reason here. If you are a Blair hater, your mind will probably remain made up. So lets look at style. The book is a retelling of the breakdown of his administration over the ten year period in office. It comes across as deeply personal and reflective. The tone is uneven in the book, but I came away feeling this is a thougthful man who tried to take his responsibilities seriously. Sometimes, the book reads as though Balir is talking to a confidant rather than the mass market reader. I particularly enjoyed his discussion of his introduction to the Queen and his problems getting used to the Prime Minister's Questions. Other issues such as Iraq and Ireland's troubles are dealt with in an authentic manner. The book is read by Blair and his emotion comes through. It is as interesting as Clinton's book and more interesting than Bushes...for what it is worth.
I am a big time politco and was eager to read this book based off my love for politics and it lived up to the test, if you love UK politics. For me, I just did not know much of the back stories on the topics Blair covered.
I give it 4 stars because listening to the former PM is tough to do for 16 hours :)