The Burden of Power: Countdown to Iraq - The Alastair Campbell Diaries

Front Cover
Random House, Jun 21, 2012 - Biography & Autobiography - 768 pages
0 Reviews

The Burden of Power is the fourth volume of Alastair Campbell's diaries, and perhaps the most eagerly awaited given the ground it covers.

It begins on September 11, 2001, a day which immediately wrote itself into the history books, and it ends on the day Campbell leaves Downing Street. In between there are two wars: first Afghanistan, and then, even more controversially, Iraq. It was the most difficult decision of Tony Blair's premiership, and almost certainly the most unpopular. Campbell describes in detail the discussions with President Bush and other world leaders as the steps to war are taken, and delivers a unique account of Blair as war leader. He records the enormous political difficulties at home, and the sense of crisis that engulfed the government after the suicide of weapons inspector David Kelly.

And all the while, Blair continues to struggle with two issues that ran throughout his time in government - fighting for peace in Northern Ireland, and trying to make peace with Gordon Brown. And Campbell continues to struggle balancing the needs of his family with one of the most pressurised roles in politics.

Riveting and revelatory, The Burden of Power is as raw and intimate a portrayal of political life as you are ever likely to read.

 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2012)

Alastair Campbell was born in Keighley, Yorkshire in 1957, the son of a vet. After graduating from Cambridge University in modern languages, his first chosen career was journalism, principally with the Mirror Group, a career interrupted in the mid-80s by a nervous breakdown and the diagnosis of a drink problem. Campbell worked his way back to become a political editor and when Tony Blair became leader of the Labour Party, he asked Campbell to be his press secretary. He worked for Blair - first in that capacity, then as official spokesman and director of communications and strategy - from 1994 to 2003, and returned in 2005 to help Labour win a third election. He now splits his time between writing, speaking, consultancy and charity, as chairman of fundraising for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research, and a leading ambassador for the mental health campaign, Time to Change.

He lives in North London with his partner of 33 years, Fiona Millar. They have three children. His interests include running, cycling, bagpipes and Burnley Football Club. He has published five volumes of diaries, including the bestselling The Blair Years, a memoir on depression, The Happy Depressive, a novel about fame, Maya, and his first acclaimed novel about mental illness, All in the Mind.

Bibliographic information