> Skip to content
  • Published: 2 July 2018
  • ISBN: 9780141983875
  • Imprint: Penguin Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 320
  • RRP: $22.99

First Confession

A Sort Of Memoir




The acclaimed memoir by the bestselling author and the best politician-writer since Alan Clark

Most politicians write autobiographies to 'set the record straight' and provide retrospective justification for their careers. That is not the case with this book. 'It occurred to me that to track down myself would enable me to discuss an issue that had begun to intrigue me, namely the relationship between politics and identity, the things that had shaped me and whether and how they had come to reflect my life and opinions. As I wrote, the question of identity moved from the wings to centre stage, and roiled politics and nations on both sides of the Atlantic.'

Chris Patten's career has taken him from the suburbs to the House of Commons, last Governor of Hong Kong and Chairman of the BBC. About all of these he is enlightening and entertaining. But more, Patten uses each phase of his life as a spur to reflect upon its contemporary situation - education, America, conservatism, Ireland, China, Europe and finally the question of links between violence and religion. Wise, funny and opinionated, First Confession is a different sort of memoir, a meditation on personal and political identity which, in an age of simplification, reminds us of the complexities of both

  • Published: 2 July 2018
  • ISBN: 9780141983875
  • Imprint: Penguin Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 320
  • RRP: $22.99

About the author

Chris Patten

Chris Patten is Chancellor of Oxford University. When MP for Bath (1979-92) he served as Minister for Overseas Development, Secretary of State for the Environment and Chairman of the Conservative Party. He was Governor of Hong Kong from 1992 until 1997 and European Commissioner for External Relations from 1999 until 2004. The Observer has described him as 'the best Tory Prime Minister we never had'.

Also by Chris Patten

See all

Praise for First Confession

Draws on his experience of four controversial institutions - the Tory party, the Vatican, the Chinese government and the BBC - to swell the tiny list of intelligent and cultured memoirs by front-line politicians

Mark Lawson, New Statesman, Books of the Year

A defence of liberal conservatism ... If old-style centrism is to stage a comeback and reason to supplant stridency and authoritarianism, be it in west or east, the moderates can wave Patten's book on their way to their barricades

Jonathan Fenby, Financial Times

Engagingly frank, beefily pugnacious ... ... he writes stirringly

John Preston, Sunday Telegraph

Vivid, very well-written, First Confession joins the highest tier of recent works by British politicians

Paschal Donohoe, Irish Times

Related titles