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A cautionary tale. An exposé. A defence of the centre ground. An appeal to reason. A call to arms. An honest account from the top and bottom of British politics.

'Compelling' Ian McEwan 'Engrossing' Alan Johnson 'Essential' Robert Peston

*THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER*

Politics has changed. For decades Britain was divided between Left and Right but united in its belief in a two-party state. Now, with nationalism resurgent and mainstream parties in turmoil, stark new divisions define the country and the centre ground is deserted.

Nick Clegg witnessed this change from the inside. Here he offers a frank account of his experiences and puts the case for a new politics based on reason and compromise.

He writes candidly about the tense stand-offs within government and the decision to enter coalition with the Conservatives in the first place. He also lifts the lid on the arcane worlds of Westminster and Brussels, the vested interests that suffocate reform, as well as the achievements his party made despite them.

Whatever your political persuasion, if you wish to understand politics in Britain today you cannot afford to ignore this book.

Reviews

A compelling account from the inside of the strange, sad death of liberal Britain. This is a passionate plea for the centre ground, which has never seemed so remote (or precious) in our current political dispensation

Ian McEwan

This engrossing account is written with a warmth and generosity that can’t have been easy to sustain given the trials and tribulations he recounts so entertainingly

Alan Johnson

Essential reading for anyone fearful of the rise of populist extremism or who thinks coalitions are the future of British politics

Robert Peston

This is an important book: a revealing analysis of British politics today and why it urgently needs reform

Shirley Williams

People of all political persuasions owe Nick Clegg a debt that I have no doubt history will acknowledge

John Major

It’s impossible not to warm to Clegg on the basis of this book. He’s human and humane, honest about his faults but insistent that liberalism still has everything to offer in a fractured culture

Evening Standard

This isn’t just a memoir of government … lots of considered and rational observations on how we run our society and economy … good ideas about how the civil service and the British constitution might be improved … Clegg does have qualities that are admirable, both in a politician and in a human being. He’s honest about his mistakes, and examines in detail how his failures to understand the political game made his Liberal Democrats so horribly vulnerable at last year’s election … fluent and chatty … thoughtful

Telegraph

An honest, likeable, rueful account … Clegg writes with charm and humour about political life

Michael Ignatieff, Financial Times

Engagingly frank and wry … still as upbeat about the future of liberal politics as he was in 2009 … Political memoirs are often used to settle scores. Clegg’s is subtly different … He takes full and rueful responsibility … good, helpful and public-spirited … This book isn’t an attack on his coalition partners, it is about ensuring the Liberal Democrats get the recognition they deserve when the second draft of history is written … Clegg was undoubtedly right to believe that in agreeing to be alongside the Tories in a government that would implement three-quarters of the Lib Dem’s manifesto, he was doing a rational, noble thing … Clegg analyses without rancour

Jenni Russell, Sunday Times

This is not a doleful book … soul-baring and commendably candid about his mistakes, but also a spirited defence … Despite his own battering experience, Clegg remakes the case for multi-party governments and pragmatic compromise in an age of populists preaching ideological purities … If he is correct, this honest and thoughtful book has some useful advice

Andrew Rawnsley, Observer

Fascinating and readable ... writes with candour and insight about the human cost of high office ... a stark and salutary reminder of the ruthlessness of the Conservatives in seeking and retaining power and their certainty about the entitlement to rule ... This is a lesson [Labour] - amid its present tribulations - would do well to reflect on

Douglas Alexander, New Statesman

Engrossing

Philip Collins, The Times

Serious-minded, earnest, level-headed

David Runciman, Guardian

Perhaps [Cameron and Osborne] might admit it now, but their government was more stable and socially just with Nick Clegg at their side. Having to consult the Liberal Democrats produced better, more considered government

Tim Montgomerie, The Times

This thoughtful memoir is also an analysis of the future of progressive politics.

Gideon Rachman, Financial Times, Book of the Year

In retrospect, Cleggmania, fuelled by a pent-up hunger for change, was the benign early forerunner of what would become the Trump, Brexit and Corbyn movements, and Clegg's account of how unnerving it was to experience that from the inside is fascinating. His take on the futility of trying to reason with voters in the grip of powerful emotions ... feels prescient too. If you only have time for two political books this year, this and [Aaron] Banks's together catch the zeitgeist

Gaby Hinsliff, Guardian Books of the Year

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9781784704162

    June 15, 2017

    Vintage

    304 pages

    RRP $24.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
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    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
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    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • Hardback

    9781847924056

    September 15, 2016

    Bodley Head

    288 pages

    RRP $65.00

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • Trade Paperback

    9781847924063

    September 15, 2016

    Bodley Head

    288 pages

    RRP $32.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook

    9781473545731

    May 26, 2016

    Vintage Digital

    304 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • Kobo
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

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