Peter Mandelson is one of the most influential politicians of modern times. The Third Man is his story - of a life played out in the backroom and then on the frontline of the Labour Party during its unprecedented three terms in government.
Much of the book is devoted to the defining political relationships of Peter Mandelson's life - with Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. Charting what he terms the 'soap-opera' years of the Labour government, his book is certain to ruffle many feathers.
Forced to resign from the Cabinet twice in three years, Peter Mandelson has cut a divisive figure through British politics, but his time as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland gained him many supporters. He was a highly regarded European Commissioner before being brought back into British politics by Gordon Brown in 2008 to serve as Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, and as First Secretary.
Containing a mixture of autobiography, personal reflection, and political history, The Third Man draws heavily on detailed diary notes that Peter Mandelson took during the events, discussions, and meetings that shaped the government and the Labour Party over 25 years. He began writing the book while serving as European Commissioner, and has been completing it since leaving office in May.
Much has been written about Peter Mandelson as the person at the heart of the New Labour project, but this is the first time we have heard the unvarnished truth from the man himself. The Third Man is set to become the most talked about political memoir of the year.
©2010 HarperCollins Publishers (P)2010 HarperCollins Publishers
Peter has a little bit of the 'i'm a good boy i am' about him and his voice is a little proper but other than that i thought it was a good as an audio book and easy to follow. it is a good insight into the New Labour years and the toxic relationship between Blair and Browne. Peter promotes himself to the 'Third man' status and suggests that this is not false modesty because after all the other two were Prime Minister and other than that the 3 of them were really all the same. In any event, i would say it is worth a credit and I am stingy about my credits these days. Una - Dublin
This was a pleasure to listen to- It was a real insight to how the genius worked to establish New Labour.
This book was brilliantly written and read and it made me feel like a fourth man it was so engrossing. I have never listened to a political book before and this one has been a great first.
He is a very good narrator. It is always more convincing when the author narrates.
With regard to the content I was intrigued and hooked from start from finish. He delivers his point with aplomb and in a very persuasive manner. He does have a rather high opinion of himself and his impact and input into the New Labour project. But, that's the man he is.
However, I am withholding my final verdict on whether or not I believe him until I have consumed a few more New Labour memoirs.
Mandleson has proven to be a slick and world class political operator and as such would not trust him.
From a pragmatic perspective I would recommend this as a version of events. I just don't trust the man!
Highly recommended for all political historians it gives a real insight into the man and also the key players within new labour.
Mandelson's account of the birth of the New Labour movement, and the complexity of the Blair/Brown relationship are clearly set out, and fascinating to follow. The book most of all comes over as honest, which when trying to unpick the truth counts for everything. Well worth while, even if you are not that political - just as a study of people.
If you like politics you will love this. What a fascinating insight into our last government and the way egos and ambitions drive behavior.
I thought this book gave a great overview of the internal struggles within the Labour Party. Whilst I appreciate peter is able to put an eloquent spin on the story, it was a very enjoyable insight.
Peter Mandelson makes for a natural narrator and that made this book all the more interesting to listen too.
He explains the history of New Labour and his involvement. Peter wastes no emotion on his destructive relationship with Brown and indeed Blair, who sacked him twice.
This is a book I will quite happily listen to again.
This book is not as revelatory as the publishers would have us believe. I certainly did not hear any thing that has not been reported on in the main stream press over the last ten years or so. Blair and Brown did not get on! What a shocker! Gordon hated Peter! Dear me! Mandelson reads it well, but you would be better off buying Blair's memoirs which are more in depth and revealing.
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