A Journey (Tony Blair) & The Clinton Tapes

These two books are a great pair, each providing an “ultimate inside perspective” on the overlapping left-centrist regimes that dominated the political scene of the Anglo-Saxon powers during the 1990s and (in Blair’s case) into the early 2000s.  Blair’s memoir is one of the most insightful political memoirs I have ever read, interesting on both the tactical and strategic levels (even if much of the UK political scene is unfamiliar to Americans). The Clinton book is unique in format: it is a sort of memoir by Taylor Branch (Pulitzer prize winning Southern historian most know for his books on Martin Luther King and the civili rights movement) of Branch’s nearly 100 audio-tape sessions with President Clinton during Clinton’s entire two-term tenure in the White House. (The tapes themselves are evidently still sealed.) I suppose the value of these works – beyond the merits of good historical narrative – lies in the implicit and often (especially in Blair’s book) explicit commentary on the nature of executive leadership and the wielding of power. Both are fascinating, and highly readable – I do recommend them.

Posted in History | Tagged | Leave a comment