Top 10 British Political Memoirs

 

A memoir can be described as a collection of memories or thoughts that an individual writes about, both public and private that took place in his/her or the subject’s life.

Political memoirs are the memoirs of people who have been related to government. They not only share the struggles and difficulties but also provide historical accounts of the events and insights in them from the leader’s perspective.

 

The Time of my life

A memoir of a leading Politician, The time of my life, is also an autobiography of Denis Healey.

Read it For:
This book highlights and brings forward his love for art, literature, music, and photography.
Don't Read it For:
The book was published almost 28 years ago, so it’s a bit dated.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book doesn’t represent Healey as a robust politician but also talks about his interests other than politics.

A life at the Center

Roy Jenkins has led a life of variety and drama in all aspects. This autobiography of his narrates the story from the end of World War II to his term as president of the European Commission.

Read it For:
The two strands of his life writing and politics are brought together efficiently
Don't Read it For:
Since it is an autobiography, it is bound to give only his perspective.
What makes this book stand out?:
He writes about people and politics of his time with grace, honesty, and humor.

The Downing Street Years

This book, memoir of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, covers her premiership. It covers the whole of her time from being elected as Prime Minister to her fall out from political powers.

Read it For:
She gives a very fair account of her dealings with foreign statesmen and ministers.
Don't Read it For:
It is a lengthy book demanding too much time for the reader.
What makes this book stand out?:
It was made into a four-part BBC Television series of the same name.

Dare to be a Daniel: Then and now

Born into a family with a strong tradition, Tony Benn was taught that the greatest sin of life was to waste time and money. This memoir of his recalls his years from his life in a nursery, agonies of adolescence and his school.

Read it For:
This memoir describes his emergence from Second World War as a keen socialist.
Don't Read it For:
It is a bit religious in the beginning.
What makes this book stand out?:
His writing style is full of compassion and warmth.
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The Blair Years: Extracts from the Alastair Campbell Diaries

This book has extracts from Campbell’s diaries of the time period during which he worked for Tony Blair

Read it For:
It provides inside story of the Blair government.
Don't Read it For:
since he used nicknames and initials in his book, the reader might have to repetitively refer to the first page.
What makes this book stand out?:
It was the first published diary about the insider of the Blair era, and many of the revelations in the book were reported by the major news channels.

A view from the Foothills

the author offers the view of the Blair Government from a lowly position, making it clear that he has no reason to protect the guilty. The diaries show his deep love for his family, who were the most important people in his life.

Read it For:
There are a lot of revelations about workings and observations of the Blair government.
Don't Read it For:
it is quite a depressing book for all those who are interested in politics.
What makes this book stand out?:
It is a diary format book.

A journey

It is a memoir of Tony Blair of his tenure as Prime Minister of United Kingdom, from when he became the leader of the Labour Party to his resignation and replacement as Prime minister by his chancellor.

Read it For:
it has many good lessons on how to succeed in both opposition and government.
Don't Read it For:
It is not narrated in chronological order.
What makes this book stand out?:
There were a lot of controversies that followed the book.

Life in the jungle

This book is the autobiography of one of the most enigmatic politicians of Britain, Michael Heseltine. This book tells the story of his political as well as his business career

Read it For:
The book provides a detailed chronology of events like the Westland affair.
Don't Read it For:
It is not a very compelling writing, and readers might find the book difficult to read.
What makes this book stand out?:
It has serious details about issues that have mattered the most.

Semi-Detached

This autobiography, is a portrait of John Biffen, a man of wisdom, charm, and intelligence with a candid account of his battle through depression. It revisits moments from his personal as well political life.

Read it For:
it has extensive extracts from his unpublished diaries.
Don't Read it For:
it is not much of a heavy gossip but describes fair picture of his colleagues
What makes this book stand out?:
It presents a moving and deep portrayal of 20th century’s most remarkable politicians.

Old men forget

it is an autobiography by Duff Cooper providing a detailed account of his childhood, youth and work in literature, politics, and army.

Read it For:
It is detailed with the help of his detailed and frank diaries.
Don't Read it For:
some might find the book quite boring.
What makes this book stand out?:
The title is from a famous speech by the King in William Shakespeare’s Henry V.

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