Intesting piece in the Independent reporting that the PM Tony Blair revealed his favourite reading matter at a World Book Day event in London yesterday. Blair said: "There were people who got me very involved in politics. But then there was also a book. It was a trilogy, a biography of Trotsky by Isaac Deutscher, which made a very deep impression on me and gave me a love of political biography for the rest of my life."

Radical publisher Verso will be loving this. Verso publish Isaac Deutscher's massive biography of Trotsky in three volumes: The Prophet Armed: Trotsky 1879-1921, The Prophet Unarmed: Trotsky 1921-1929 and The Prophet Outcast: Trotsky 1929-1940. In a press release the publisher asks, "does this mean that even Verso, the radical left publishers, are now part of the Blairite project?" Let's hope not: the thought of a whole load of publishers tooling up and invading Iran does not make me happy!

Readers Comments

  1. Resolute Reader Saturday 04 March 2006

    I too was surprised to see this statement from Tony Blair, who after all, I have denounced time and again as a wannabe dictator, a war-monger, and imeperialist. But perhaps I was wrong perhaps, he really was a socialist. To find out exactly what inspired him, I had only to look at the first page of Deutscher's 2nd volume on Trotsky.

    "The Bolsheviks made their October Revolution of 1917 in the conviction that what they had begun was mankind’s “leap from the realm of necessity to the realm of freedom’. They saw the bourgeois order dissolving and class society crumbling all over the world, not merely in Russia. They believed that everywhere the peoples were at least in revolt against being the playthings of socially unorganised productive forces, and against the anarchy of their own existence. They imagine that the world was fully ready to free itself from the necessity to slave and sweat for the means of its subsistence – and ready also to put an end to man’s domination by man. They greeted the dawn of the new age in which the human being all his energies and capacities released would achieve self-fulfilment. They were proud to have opened for humanity “the passage from pre-history to history”.

    This brilliant vision inspired the minds and hearts not only of the leaders, ideologues and dreamers of Bolshevism. It sustained the hope and ardour of the mass of their followers as well."

    Clearly, Mr. Blair is one of those followers. Indeed, we will probably only have to wait a few more weeks to be delivered from the world of inequality, drudgery, war and sweat, that Tony so obviously despises.


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