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Review: Speaking For Myself

February 12, 2009

speaking-for-myself

Cherie Blair was the British “First Lady” for ten years.  In Speaking For Myself, she tells her life story from birth until her husband left office in 2007.  Cherie’s father was a successful actor, but he abandoned his family when she was young.  Having no other alternative,  Cherie along with her mother and her sister lived with her father’s parents in Liverpool.  Cherie’s mother worked hard and made a lot of sacrifices.  Her father had children by other women, but never made much time for Cherie and her sister.  Cherie’s  childhood wasn’t unhappy, but it wasn’t always easy.

Cherie was the first member of her family to go to college.  She got her law degree (top in her class) and married Tony Blair.  Both Cherie and Tony were interested in politics, but she ended up working while he pursued political office.  Tony was elected Prime Minister in 1997 and the Blairs and their 3 children moved to Downing Street.  Cherie was unique among Prime Ministers’ spouses in that she continued to work.  They had another child while he was in office.  It seemed that Cherie was often at odds with the British press.

This book provides an interesting peek into what it’s like to be married to the Prime Minister of Great Britain. I have to admit that I didn’t understand all of the political aspects of the book – I don’t know the difference between the Labour Party and the Tories and I don’t understand their election process.  All in all, it was an enjoyable book, even though there were no great new revelations.

14 Comments leave one →
  1. February 12, 2009 8:12 am

    Have you seen the movie, The Queen? I love how they show Blair in that movie. Not that I know much more than you about British politics – only what I get from the movies.

  2. February 12, 2009 9:31 am

    It has to be so difficult to be the wife of a politician. I’m not sure what the political scene in Britain is like, but I would imagine it’s pretty crazy too.

  3. stacybuckeye permalink
    February 12, 2009 10:44 am

    I love reading about the lives of the First Ladies, so this would add an extra layer of interest since I don’t know anything about British politics!

  4. February 12, 2009 11:31 am

    I thought this one looked interesting. I can’t imagine having the stress and being in the public eye like that for 10 years.

  5. February 12, 2009 1:31 pm

    It’s always interesting to learn a little more about a leader’s other half. Thanks for the great review, Kathy.

  6. February 12, 2009 2:58 pm

    It sounds like an interesting read. I think I would like to hear about her perspective.

  7. February 12, 2009 4:10 pm

    Labour party = liberals, Tory party = conservatives. Roughly. And people vote for their Member of Parliament and whichever party has majority in Parliament then gets to choose its Prime Minister, usually the already-established “party leader”. You may not have asked for that info, but I felt like volunteering it, so I hope that’s okay!

    Cherie Blair is interesting. She wasn’t well liked but she seems like a strong and potentially inspirational woman. I don’t know much about her though, this book might help.

  8. February 12, 2009 5:28 pm

    I really liked how she was portrayed in The Queen. I think she sounds like an interesting person.

  9. February 12, 2009 6:09 pm

    Sounds interesting. I don’t know much about British politics either. Meghan: the press almost never likes a strong woman. Sigh.

  10. February 12, 2009 7:18 pm

    I heard her speak at a women’s conference recently. Her life is truly fascinating.

  11. February 12, 2009 9:28 pm

    This looks like an interesting book and a great way to educate myself about other countries. 🙂

  12. February 12, 2009 11:38 pm

    Interesting book, Kathy! One of those I wouldn’t think to pick up, but now that I’ve read your review I’d be much more inclined.

  13. February 16, 2009 2:06 pm

    I don’t know much about British politics either. Sounds interesting, though not something I’d read. Thanks for the review!

  14. February 19, 2009 10:10 pm

    I heard her interviewed on Diane Rehm and it was incredible! Thanks for reminding me about the book – it’s on my tbr list now 🙂

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