Books in 100 – Tony Blair: Prime Minister by John Rentoul

John Rentoul has a reputation as the Blairite of all Blairites. However, his extensive 2001 biography of the then-PM is surprisingly critical.

Published shortly before the 2001 election, Rentoul writes a thorough interim account of Tony Blair’s life and first years in office.

Rentoul provides the most authoritative account of Blair’s pre-PM life. His provisional verdict is distinctly un-Blairite, describing Blair only as ‘competent’ with just some ‘one-off achievements’ but with potential to do more.

While Rentoul can be often overly meticulous in his research and writing, his biography is a reminder that the Blair years were choppy even before Iraq. His knowledge is vast, and his judgements are remarkable.

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