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Free at Last!: The Diaries 1991-2001 | [Tony Benn]

Free at Last!: The Diaries 1991-2001

Tony Benn's diaries began in 1940, and have been compared to those of Pepys in their detail, scope, and accuracy. This volume brings them right up to date, covering the Gulf War, the rise of New Labour, international repercussions of American foreign policy, and reactions against it.
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Publisher's Summary

Tony Benn's diaries began in 1940, and have been compared to those of Pepys in their detail, scope, and accuracy. This volume brings them right up to date, covering the Gulf War, the rise of New Labour, international repercussions of American foreign policy, and reactions against it.

Read by the author himself, here is Tony Benn's record of the recent history of British politics, comprising three wars, three general elections, six party leaders, and two Prime Ministers. Political observations are entwined with a moving account of family life.

Chronicling his final decades as a Member of Parliament, the diaries encompass political events, gossip, and entertaining observations. The focus is on the years leading up to his retirement, his anxiety about whether or not to stand again, and his great sorrow when his wife Caroline is diagnosed with cancer. Throughout, his honesty and integrity shine through.

© and (P)2003 BBC Audiobooks Ltd

What the Critics Say

"The best political diarist of our time." (Financial Times)

What Members Say

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    ezs 11-18-05
    ezs 11-18-05 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Overall
    "A unique insight into 1990s British Politics"

    Regardless of ones views on his politics, you can't but be warmed by this personal account of a remarkable decade in British Politics.

    Tony Benn brings a unique, witty and warm insight into some of the headlines of the day; his diary style is light - yet profound, happy, moving and sometimes sad moments are captured.

    For the benefit of US listeners - Tony Benn is unique. Here he is reading his own diaries - and really bringing them to life. He is easy to listen to; a familiar voice retelling his experiences.

    I recommend this audiobook.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-1 of 1 results
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  • David
    Leeds, WYK, United Kingdom
    9/8/05
    Overall
    "An honourable man"

    Never one to openly admit to being a socialist or indeed, particularly political in any way, I was unsure when a colleague suggested that I listen to this audio book by Tony Benn. My usual reading however does include some historical books so I thought 'hey why not'. And how glad I am that I took my friend's advice. This was an excellent book read with real feeling by the author. Not only did it give a great insight into the politics of the times, its characters and the behind-the-scenes goings on within parliament. But it also gave an insight into the man himself. Tony Benn comes across as a real honest, principled man and he reads his diaires with real feeling. He also comes across as a real family man who cared passionately about his wife and family. Tears literally rolled down my face as he talked in choked tones about the death of his beloved wife and again as he talked with immense pride of his son, Hilary's rise to become an MP himself. I could not recommend this book highly enough. It is never a dry political diary by any means. This is a man of a bygone age but whose principles and ideals are some things that our current political leaders could do well to embrace.

    22 of 22 people found this review helpful
  • Bob
    LondonUnited Kingdom
    2/8/06
    Overall
    "Not what you might expect; try it."

    Whatever your political persuasion, I defy anyone not to find this book moving, enthralling, and full of incite. Tony Benn has a wonderfully light touch when describing events, and personalities, and he shows great generosity and respect to all sides. There is no political preaching or dogma, and he is refreshingly honest in his assessment of his own day to day work and achievements. The result is uplifting and restorative; there are people in public life who really care.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Jacqueline
    Preston, LAN, United Kingdom
    4/18/06
    Overall
    "Tony Benn: Free at Last!"

    As an avid reader of political diaries, I was looking forward to listening to Tony Benn. He does not disappoint. A touching and deeply personal perspective, and some delightful insights into his family life as well as his political one. Not as self-obsessed or acidic as Alan Clarke, but just as individual and independent minded. A refreshing change from the gloss and spin of the party machine.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Conrad
    Mitcham, United Kingdom
    3/17/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Revealing"
    If you could sum up Free at Last! in three words, what would they be?

    It is interesting to hear Tony's life as an MP, and as a man. It is very very sad when his beloved wife passe's away.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Free at Last!?

    When his wife passes away.


    What about Tony Benn’s performance did you like?

    Honest.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When his wife passes away.


    Any additional comments?

    I do not know why, but it is very engaging.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Stuart
    LondonUnited Kingdom
    3/10/10
    Overall
    "Don't hesitate"

    I was wary of buying this because I don't altogether support the author's political position, however I find spoken voice a pure magnet!

    In the event these fairly recent diaries are a joy. He combines his high principles with a schoolboy disregard of everyone else's, like most politicians he has a high opinion of himself.

    That said, he was by this time a lone voice in his party and pulls little punches.

    Of Gordon Brown he said he wouldn't employ him as a research assistant!

    Please do not miss this very entertaining and enlightening book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Terence
    12/15/07
    Overall
    "It made me cry"

    This political diary is fascinating. I have always admired Tony Benn, I found his book very moving to the point that it made me cry

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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