Synopses & Reviews
Tony Blair was America's closest ally in the war against Saddam Hussein. It was a powerful yet precarious position for the British Prime Minister, as he fought for his own future in backing George W. Bush and sending Britain's forces into Iraq. In this gripping day-by-day chronicle, Peter Stothard takes us behind the scenes as no one has before to reveal a unique portrait of a political leader under fire at the center of the world stage.
Over a period of four weeks in March and April of 2003, Tony Blair risked his status as the United Kingdom's most successful Labour Prime Minister for the chance of an unknowable place in history. Before Britain could help the United States, Blair faced a battle against his own voters, his own party, and his own allies in Europe. These were among the most tense and tumultuous weeks the world had seen since the fall of the Berlin Wall. In thirty days, Blair took on his opponents and won.
Through it all, Peter Stothard had unprecedented access to Blair, from Ten Downing Street and the House of Commons through the war summits in the Azores, Brussels, Belfast, and Camp David. No writer has ever been so close to a world head of state for so long at such a critical moment. Stothard brings us inside the corridors of power during this extraordinary time, offering a vivid, up-close view of an enormously popular leader facing the challenge of his life. How Blair spent those thirty days, how he fought for his own future as well as his vision of the civilized world, how he changed, and why he survived are at the heart of this riveting inside account.
This is an observant, thought-provoking book, written with an admirable lightness of touch. Noel Malcolm, The Evening Standard
"In-depth political journalism....Stothard expertly
shapes a narrative in which Blair manages to stick by his principles in the
face of intense pressure." Publishers Weekly
"Stothard excels at showing the eccentric world of Downing Street, with its archaic, genteel rituals and sardonic banter." The New Yorker
[A] terrific book. Thomas Friedman, The New York Times
With this remarkable access and his sharp eye for detail, Stothard has produced an invaluable book for anyone interested in how a government goes to war. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Over a period of four weeks in March and April of 2003, Tony Blair risked his status as Britain's most successful Labour Prime Minister for the chance of a place in world history. He gambled everything that he and George Bush were right about fighting Saddam Hussein. These were among the most tense and tumultuous weeks the world had seen since the fall of the Berlin Wall, perhaps since World War II. At stake were the building blocks of the international community the United Nations, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and the European Union.
Through it all, Peter Stothard enjoyed a measure of access that has never been granted before, following Blair from Downing Street and the House of Commons through the war summits in the Azores, Brussels, Belfast, and Camp David, in the closest and most private of quarters. Blair fought hard but without success for the diplomatic support he wanted for the war; he then fought hard and with great success for the support of a skeptical Labour Party and parliament. It was as much a fight for his own future as it was for his vision of the civilized world. Stothard takes us inside the corridors of power during this extraordinary time, offering a vivid, remarkably up-close view of an enormously popular leader facing the challenge of his life.
About the Author
Peter Stothard was the editor of the Times from 1992 to 2002 and the U.S. editor from 1989 to 1992. He is currently the editor of the Times Literary Supplement and lives in London.