Back From the Brink: 1,000 Days at Number 11

Alistair Darling

Back From the Brink: 1,000 Days at Number 11

In the summer of late 2007, shares of Northern Rock went into free-fall causing a run on the bank — the first since the Great Depression. Northern Rock was only the first: in the ensuing months, Alistair Darling stood firm in the eye of this perfect storm — all over the world financial institutions thought 'too big to fail' were falling prey to the lethal toxicity of the US sub-prime mortgage market. Back from the Brink tells the story of one thousand days of crisis. 3.5 out of 5 based on 10 reviews
Back From the Brink: 1,000 Days at Number 11

Omniscore:

Classification Non-fiction
Genre Society, Politics & Philosophy, Business, Finance & Law
Format Hardback
Pages 336
RRP £19.99
Date of Publication September 2011
ISBN 978-0857892799
Publisher Atlantic
 

In the summer of late 2007, shares of Northern Rock went into free-fall causing a run on the bank — the first since the Great Depression. Northern Rock was only the first: in the ensuing months, Alistair Darling stood firm in the eye of this perfect storm — all over the world financial institutions thought 'too big to fail' were falling prey to the lethal toxicity of the US sub-prime mortgage market. Back from the Brink tells the story of one thousand days of crisis.

Reviews

The Sunday Express

John Redwood

Darling has a journalistic touch, with a keen eye for excitement … He is also revealing about tensions within the Labour Party … The importance of the book lies much deeper, though. It exposes the chaotic UK response to the financial crisis and the failure of the tripartite system of regulation.

11/09/2011

Read Full Review


The Financial Times

Philip Stephens

It is a gripping tale told well, forsaking the guile and hyperbole that is a more familiar trademark of political memoirs … Darling makes some useful corrections to received wisdom. Mervyn King, the autocratic governor of the Bank of England, has thus far emerged relatively unscathed from the financial crash. Yet he was guilty of a string of misjudgments as the crisis unfolded.

09/09/2011

Read Full Review


The Mail on Sunday

Chris Mullin

This book has been billed in some quarters as 'Darling's revenge'. It is nothing of the sort. It is a balanced, thoughtful, sober account of arguably the greatest crisis of the 21st Century, and one from which both he — and, despite everything, Gordon Brown — emerge with credit.

18/09/2011

Read Full Review


The Times

Anatole Kaletsky

Its author is clearly an honourable, if rather wry, person, somewhat detached from the ruthlessly ambitious politicians and economic ideologues who play out the drama around him … Far from vindictiveness, Darling’s main motivation seems to be a sincere desire to guide his former colleagues on how they could rehabilitate Labour’s economic reputation and offer a credible alternative to the distorted Tory narrative of the crisis.

12/09/2011

Read Full Review


The Evening Standard

Sarah Sands

… there is an element in this book of setting out his version of events in case the forces of hell get there first. But partiality does not mean that the book is without merit. Darling is clearly a decent man and his sense of fairness makes his account of what happened more believable.

08/09/2011

Read Full Review


The Guardian

Larry Elliott

The overall impression is of a chronicler at pains to be both fair and accurate. Given Darling's reputation as a safe pair of hands, it is strange to find so many factual mistakes … [These] detract from what is otherwise a thoroughly readable, and often witty, account

07/09/2011

Read Full Review


The Independent

Andy McSmith

This is not a profound book. It is the story of how first this problem, then that one, dropped into the Chancellor's in-tray, and how he dealt with them all. He does not offer grand conclusions about what his experiences say about capitalism in the 21st century or about politics in a modern, media-driven democracy ... But it is not a bad read for all that.

09/09/2011

Read Full Review


The Observer

Andrew Rawnsley

The Brown depicted here is a deeply unpleasant man … The portrait of the Brown premiership as a combination of chaos and brutishness is already highly familiar from previous accounts. There is corroboration here rather than anything startlingly fresh. Coming from Darling, it nevertheless has sting, because the two men were once close.

11/09/2011

Read Full Review


The Sunday Times

Dominic Lawson

While Darling regularly castigates the bankers’ unwillingness to admit how their actions precipitated disaster, he at no point himself expresses contrition for the regulatory fiasco he helped to set up; instead, he blames the Bank of England for failing to do what he had prevented it from doing. Refreshingly modest as he appears, it turns out that Darling is as unwilling to admit error as the standard egomaniac.

11/09/2011

Read Full Review


The Spectator

Lloyd Evans

The focus of this book is decidedly narrow and its chief appeal will be to policy wonks and credit-crunch watchers. But a longer, fuller, more wide-ranging memoir is bound to follow. Darling is one of the few ministers who served at Cabinet level throughout Labour’s 13 years in power. He has much more to tell us. Next time, one hopes, he will wield the blade a little more enthusiastically.

17/09/2011

Read Full Review


©2013 The Omnivore