The former PM’s account of his 10 years in the highest office in the land is a peculiarly conflicted affair.

With a tone ranging from matey to arrogant through earnest, clich�d, banal and candid, Blair’s account apes the intimacy of a celebrity memoir.

Rather than a detailed account of domestic and world events, his reflections on the achievements and trials of the New Labour project are really a plea for personal understanding.

This and the awful prose can get wearing, but it is a fascinatingly honest insight into what it is like to be a leader – the fear of the enormity of the job, the conflicting personalities, the manipulations and lies.

But many prickly questions are just left hanging – he asks himself ‘Why?’ on numerous occasions, but leaves the query, more often than not, unanswered.

Thanks to Waterstone’s, Stevenage