PanThe Observer (UK)Brexit is the giant, dark cumulonimbus that squats over the pages of this long memoir from its first sentence. You can sense that the author dreaded arriving at the chapters where he would have to explain himself, for the earlier ones are bulked up with some stodgy padding that could have benefited from more ruthless editing. In the build-up to the breaking of the storm that sweeps away his career, the tone is largely sunny ... He tends to the bland when discussing other leaders, but there are a few tangy titbits ... The book’s voice is not as humble as the interviews he has given to promote it. There are lengthy tracts of self-justification as he relitigates every controversy of his career before almost invariably coming to the conclusion: \'I was right\' ... the memoir oozes bitterness from the still weeping wounds of a man who feels betrayed ... Cameron says he knows \'I failed.\' This memoir doesn’t convince me that he fully grasps why.
RaveThe ObserverThe story has relevance in our own age as dictatorships once again confront the democracies. So it is timely to take a fresh look at what happened in the 1930s. The tale is a complex one, with many moving parts and personalities. To this tricky challenge, Tim Bouverie rises superbly. His narrative is well constructed and fluently written. He excels at capturing the atmosphere and conveying the debates in the dining clubs, drawing rooms and society playgrounds of interwar Britain. He addresses the issues with clarity of expression and judgment. There are convincing sketches of the principals along with a seasoning of entertainment from a cast of eccentric and gruesome secondary characters in the plot. The author is unsparing about the guilty parties while always careful to put them in context ... this gripping book is additionally valuable because it illuminates some eternal truths. Bad leaders hide behind public opinion; great ones lead it.
PositiveThe Guardian...flair for turning a pithy and pungent phrase is one of the things to admire about his writing ... cogency, subtlety and style.
PositiveThe GuardianThompson usually advances his case in cool, nuanced and forensic prose, but he is a blistering flame-thrower about the consequences of the digital revolution ... He also gives a kicking to newspapers and conventional broadcasters who, scared of looking backward and hungry for free content, give further amplification to the howlround ... Then he rescues himself from despair by reminding himself that public language has come back to life before, even as the last rites were being read over it. There’s hope for reasoned persuasion yet.