• The Blair Years

  • Extracts from the Alastair Campbell Diaries
  • By: Alastair Campbell
  • Narrated by: Alastair Campbell
  • Length: 6 hrs and 21 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 06-07-2007
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Random House AudioBooks
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars 4.3 (7 ratings)

Publisher's Summary

Shortlisted for the British Book Awards, Biography of the Year, 2008.
Shortlisted for the Channel 4 Political Book Award, 2007.
Longlisted for the Audiobook Download of the Year, 2007.
The Blair Years is the most compelling and revealing account of contemporary politics you will ever hear. Taken from Alastair Campbell's daily diaries, these audio extracts chart the rise of New Labour and the tumultuous years of Tony Blair's leadership, providing the first important record of a remarkable decade in our national life.
Here are the defining events of our time, from Labour's new dawn to the war on terror; from the death of Diana to negotiations for peace in Northern Ireland; from Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq, through to the Hutton Inquiry of 2003. But above all, here is Tony Blair up close and personal, making the decisions that affected the lives of millions, under relentless and frequently hostile pressure.
Feared and admired in equal measure, hated by some, Alastair Campbell was pivotal to the founding of New Labour and the sensational election victory of 1997. As Blair's press secretary, strategist, and trusted confidant, Campbell spent more waking hours alongside the prime minister than anyone. His diaries take the listener right to the heart of government.
Unflinchingly told, The Blair Years covers the crises and scandals, the rows and resignations, the ups and downs of Britain's hothouse politics. There has never been so riveting a book about life at the very top, nor a more human book about politics, told by a man who saw it all.
©2007 Alastair Campbell (P)2007 Random House
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Critic Reviews

"Campbell has a draught Guiness voice with a husky edge to it; he could narrate Chandler thrilers to perfection." (Christina Hardyment, The Times)
"These diaries are His Master�s Voice. They will be gasped at, and relied upon, for decades to come. Buy them, they will suck you in." ( The Times)
"It is electric: a tale of sound and fury." (Book of the Week, The Mail on Sunday)
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Regular price: $17.97

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Jeffrey P. on 13-09-2007

Better heard than read

A great perspective on the power and management of the press in the UK. Campbell's voice adds a great deal to interpreting parts of this, so listen rather than read. Great for American readers for perspective on Bush, Iraq, Clinton. While Princess Di was interesting, nothing new to add to that story. One of my favorite Audio reads this year.

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4 of 5 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Paul on 31-08-2007

A wonderful travel through recent history

Though I dont ususally go for political biographys I heard a very favorable recommendation for this book in a podcast (TWiT) which got me curious enough to listen to the sample. In 2 mins I was hooked (try it). A travel around the world during the Blair years in the form of a political diary narrated by the author, Alastair Campbell, whose style takes you right along on a trip of a sort that you are not likely to experience in any other way. Go behind the scenes to a group of young men who finally get their chance to run a country. Go behind hte scenes to Princess Dianas death, Bill Clinton and Monica, the negotiations to unify Ireland, Prince Charles and his organic produce, the Royal family and Buckingham palace, Elton John and Stevie Wonder-scandals and questionable loans- a cast of hundreds! One of those books you cant put down. Couldn't stop listening. Very highly recommended.

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4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By David on 13-07-2007


I guess that the audiobook only contains a small fraction of the published book's 800 pages. That means it doesn't take that long to listen all the way through. There are quite a few large jumps in dates. Names of people aren't always explained - you need some background knowledge to realise who they all are. (Eg 'PM' = Peter Mandleson, 'CDS' = Chief of Defence Staff, 'Jonathan' = Jonathan Powell...). So you have to keep your wits about you.

But none of this detracts from the fascination of the many issues covered. I ended up with a feeling of a much better appreciation of many of the stories that have been in the press during the years Alastair Campbell worked alongside Tony Blair.

The narration is clear. In summary, it was a real pleasure to listen to it. I often had a wide smile on my face (eg listening to the encounters with Princess Diana) and sometimes a lump in my throat.

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13 of 13 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Jim on 16-07-2007


I was never much of a fan of Blair and Spin, but the diaries of the man behind a lot of the image are fascinating. Narrated by the downbeat and laconic Campell himself, all the best anecdotes are here, plus many that you might not have heard about. As an insight into how the country is run, this paints a human and surprising picture, exposing politics as how you might have feared it is as well as how you might have hoped it can be too. Very enjoyable, espescially Mandy's hissy fits, egotistical and thoroughly entertaining, I just wish it had been the unabridged version.

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8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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