"When Tony Blair entered Downing Street on 2 May 1997, Britain seemed a different place. On the brilliant spring day the country suddenly appeared fresher, brighter - a marked contrast to the greyness of the dog days of Tory rule." "That early optimism was in large part a reaction to the personality of Blair himself. Public school, Oxford and a career at the Bar had helped make him the acceptable face of a Labour Party he had already modernised beyond recognition. His charisma, drive and 'newness' won two successive three-figure majorities. But with the triumphs have come allegations of arrogance, of hubris. From the over-promising of delivery on public services to the crusading zeal of his foreign policy, Blair seemed to think he could solve all of the country's - and the world's - problems. But his two terms have been dogged by a sense of disappointment, as the sense of expectation about his government's potential has become mired in the eternal conflict between tax and spend as well as uncertainty over Britain's role in Europe and a world now ruled by US primacy and pre-emption." "What has happened to that early optimism? Are the allegations of arrogance an inevitable consequence of supreme, almost presidential power, or were these traits always there? We know Blair is a religious man, but what really motivates him? Is he, as has been suggested, merely obsessed with his place in history?" "Rejecting the constraints of formal biography, Anthony Seldon has produced a profile of the Prime Minister that rewrites the bibliography of Blair studies. Focusing on the interplay between the key turning points of his life and career and the key personalities with whom he has surrounded himself, it assesses the Blair psychology in all its forms and explains the motivation of the man destined to be the last British Prime Minister to command a world stage. It also draws on previously unpublished diaries and documents and is based on over 600 original interviews with those who have known and worked with Blair, including many at the heart of government."--BOOK JACKET.
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