Just Boris: A Tale of Blond Ambition

Just Boris: A Tale of Blond Ambition

by Sonia Purnell

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Overview

A major and controversial new biography of one of the most compelling and contradictory figures in modern British life. Born Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, to most of us he is just ‘Boris’ – the only politician of the age to be regarded in such familiar, even affectionate terms. Uniquely, he combines comedy with erudition, gimlet-eyed focus with jokey self-deprecation, and is a loving family man with a roving eye. He is also a hugely ambitious figure with seemingly no huge ambitions to pursue – other than, perhaps, power itself. In this revealing new biography, written from the vantage point of a once close colleague, Sonia Purnell examines how a shy, young boy from a broken home became our only box-office politician. How the Etonian product fond of Latin tags became a Man of the People; and why he wanted to be. How the gaffe-prone buffoon won the largest personal mandate this country has ever seen; and how the Johnson family built our biggest – and blondest – media and political dynasty. The first forensic account of a remarkable rise to fame and power, Just Boris unravels a political enigma and asks whether the Mayor who dreams of crossing the Thames to Downing Street has what it takes to be Prime Minister.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781845137410
Publisher: Aurum Press
Publication date: 09/22/2011
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 400
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Sonia Purnell is a writer and journalist known for her investigative skills and lively writing style. She started work at the Economist Intelligence Unit, edited a weekly financial magazine when only 25, and then went on to a senior position on the Daily Telegraph's City pages. It was whilst working in the Telegraph's Brussels bureau in the early Nineties that she first came into close contact with Boris Johnson, then at a turning point in his personal life and working career. After her stint in Brussels, Sonia wrote about government for the Daily Telegraph and then the Daily Mail, where she was Whitehall Editor. She is now freelance and lives in London with her husband and two sons.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements ix

Introduction 1

1 Peter Pan and Wendy: Childhood, 1964-1977 10

2 'Hey, Hey, ABJ': Eton, 1977-1982 44

3 Toffs, Tugs and Stains: Oxford, 1983-1987 61

4 World on Speed Dial: Starting Work, 1987-1989 92

5 I Fought Delors … and I Won: Brussels, 1989-1994 111

6 M'learned Wife: Islington Life, 1994-2008 142

7 Untouchable: Boris the Celebrity, 1994-1999 159

8 'Sack me!': The Spectator, 1999-2005 189

9 On Yer Bike!: MP, 2001-2004 223

10 'Busting with spunk': The Sextator, 1999-2005 257

11 'Cynical self-interest': 2005-2007 283

12 Too Funny to be Mayor?: 2007-2008 314

13 State of Wonderment: First Days at City Hall, 2008 348

14 The Politics of Power: The Mayoralty, 2008-2012 377

Epilogue 428

Sources 458

Endnotes 461

Index 467

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