Tony's Ten Years, By Adam Boulton

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The Independent Culture

Adam Boulton insists that he wrote this book neither to praise Tony Blair nor to dismantle him, but to bear witness to the epoch we lived through. Boulton began working as a political journalist 25 years ago, and here draws on the experience gleaned from his "front-row seat". (In 2006, Blair attended Boulton's wedding to Anji Hunter, Blair's closest friend and long-serving amanuensis, though she is largely absent from these pages.)

This is "a book of memories", drawn from thousands of conversations and interviews, Boulton eager to capture the key moments and motivations of Blair's career "before first-hand memory fades". It takes as its core material Blair's final three months, during which he sought to move from prime minister to elder statesman. And it exhibits both the strengths and weaknesses inherent in memoir: the evocative scenes and anecdotes, balanced with Boulton's detached manner of viewing politics; and yet the remaining sense that this is a story, but not the whole story.