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Politics on the Edge

A Memoir from Within

Rory Stewart



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14 November 2023
From the former Cabinet minister and co-presenter of hit podcast The Rest is Politics, a searing insider's account of ten extraordinary years in Parliament

A political journey through turbulent times

Over the course of a decade from 2010, Rory Stewart went from being a political outsider to standing for prime minister - before being sacked from a Conservative Party that he had come to barely recognise.

Tackling ministerial briefs on flood response and prison violence, engaging with conflict and poverty abroad as a foreign minister, and Brexit as a Cabinet minister, Stewart learned first-hand how profoundly hollow and inadequate our democracy and government had become. Cronyism, ignorance and sheer incompetence ran rampant. Around him, individual politicians laid the foundations for the political and economic chaos of today. Stewart emerged battered but with a profound affection for his constituency of Penrith and the Border, and a deep direct insight into the era of populism and global conflict.

Politics On the Edge invites us into the mind of one of the most interesting actors on the British political stage. Uncompromising, candid and darkly humorous, this is his story of the challenges, absurdities and realities of political life; a new classic of political memoir and a remarkable portrait of our age.
Imprint:   Vintage
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 153mm,  Spine: 33mm
Weight:   558g
ISBN:   9781787335141
ISBN 10:   1787335143
Pages:   464
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  Professional and scholarly ,  College/higher education ,  ELT Advanced ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Rory Stewart served in the UK Cabinet as Secretary of State for International Development, and before that as Prisons Minister, Minister for Africa, Minister for Development, Environment Minister and Chair of the Defence Committee. He ran against Boris Johnson for the leadership of the Conservative Party in 2019. Earlier in his career he was briefly in the British Army, before serving as a diplomat in Indonesia, the Balkans and Iraq, establishing and running a charity in Afghanistan, and holding a chair at Harvard University. His 21-month 6,000-milewalk across Asia, including Afghanistan, is recorded in his New York Times bestseller, The Places in Between. His other books include Occupational Hazards, and The Marches. Stewart is now the president of the non-profit organisation GiveDirectly, a visiting fellow at Yale's Jackson School and the co-host with Alastair Campbell of the UK's leading podcast The Rest Is Politics. He tweets at @RoryStewartUK.

Reviews for Politics on the Edge: A Memoir from Within

Rarely before has the life of a government minister been described in such granular detail or with such literary flair... This book is a vital work of documentation: Orwell down the coal mine, Swift on religious excess. We should be grateful it was written and that Stewart never stopped being interesting.' -- Alan Johnson * Guardian, *Book of the Day* * The most compelling account I have read in recent years of the ways in which the British political system makes good government nigh-on impossible -- Charlotte Ivers * Sunday Times, *Book of the Week* * Anyone with the slightest interest in politics should get a copy of Rory Stewart's political memoir... In terms of the quality of writing, there has been nothing to approach it since the diaries of Alan Clark -- Dominic Lawson * Daily Mail * One of the most excoriating political memoirs of modern times... Hugely entertaining, Politics on the Edge, is hard to dismiss * Evening Standard * An eye-opening (and highly enjoyable) read for anyone interested in understanding the realities of political power in the age of populism -- Yuval Noah Harari, author of SAPIENS

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