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The Third Man

Life at the Heart of New Labour
Narrated by: Peter Mandelson
Length: 5 hrs and 49 mins
4 out of 5 stars (159 ratings)

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Summary

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
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

review

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

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent Audiobook

This was a pleasure to listen to- It was a real insight to how the genius worked to establish New Labour.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

The Third Man

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.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Not jumping to conclusions

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!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

The Third Man

Highly recommended for all political historians it gives a real insight into the man and also the key players within new labour.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Candid and clear, a great listen.

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.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

egos and ambitions

If you like politics you will love this. What a fascinating insight into our last government and the way egos and ambitions drive behavior.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Superb insight

Very interesting new perspective of the relationships in New Labour and only disappointing feature is that it is too short.

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Listen to Alistair Campbell's diaries instead

Made it to about chapter 3 before I gave up. I don't know if it's mandelsons delivery but the whole thing felt like some sort of vanity project by someone who is a little self obsessed with their own importance. This could have been a valuable and interesting listen if Mandleson could manage the urge to place himself as riding to the rescue. Listen to Alistair Campbell's diaries instead. He's a much more effective writer and isn't quite so full of his importance

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    5 out of 5 stars

Really enjoyed the book

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.