This book arrived with a handwritten note from Auld Yin “Copepod – you did say anything! This is certainly different and I don't think we have done a political bio before. I hope you enjoy this somewhat different book.” Although I'm interested in politics and have read quite a few books about politics, I don't think I've ever read biography or autobiography by a political figure before.
- Alan Johnson
This is the third of Alan Johnson's autobiographies, following on from “This Boy” and “Please, Mister Postman”. It starts with the wedding of his half sister Sandra in 1990 and ends in the office of Home Secretary in 2009, although the epilogue concerns the death of his biological father Stephen Johnson in 2004. In fact, at the heart of the story are the twin threads of family and politics, making it far more than a dry political memoir.
Who knew that at 1994 Labour Party conference, Party Leader's speech was followed by a round of receptions, with the UCW event an opportunity to be “refuelled by alcohol and the obligatory sausage rolls and coleslaw”.
In short, I thoroughly recommend this book, even, or perhaps, especially, to people who think they won’t enjoy reading a political memoir. I’ll be looking for the first and second in the story and will look out for the expected fourth and last.
4.5 out of 5.
Hardback ISBN 978 0593076033
Publisher Penguin Books. Published in UK 2016.