Tony Blair: The Making of a World Leader
In the spring of 2003, in the midst of the invasion of Iraq, George W. Bush took special note to praise the leader who had most solidly supported him in his efforts to end the reign of Saddam Hussein. For many Americans, the contentious buildup to the war was indeed an opportunity to become acquainted with the politics and personality of a man who had already established himself as Europe's preeminent statesman. Now, in Tony Blair: The Making of a World Leader, journalist Philip Stephens offers a full portrait of this charismatic and influential politician.
Philip Stephens - who has followed Blair's career for more than twenty years and has had dozens of meetings and interviews with him (including an interview especially for this book) - traces the prime minister's remarkable career from his middle-class upbringing and his discovery of religion at Oxford to his determination to bring the Labour party back into office in the face of the almost unassailable power of the Conservatives. Courage and conviction, combined with a ruthless grasp of political tradecraft (learned in part from Bill Clinton), have enabled Blair to transform the politics of his own country and project overseas a new internationalism for the twenty-first century. In Britain he has led the Labour Party to the most successful period in its one hundred-year history by refraining its ideology. Globally his politics of conviction have inspired his activism in Northern Ireland, Kosovo, and the Middle East. Stephens presents a fair appraisal of Blair's strengths as well as his weaknesses - whether his overreliance on opinion polls or a sometimes exaggerated sense of his own persuasive powers - and describes the intense controversy surrounding the use of intelligence to bring Britain into the Iraq war.
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STEEPLES AND SPIRES I
FAITH AND FAMILY
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