The Complete Reflections

Conversations with Politicians

Peter Hennessy and Robert Shepherd

The Complete Reflections

Peter Hennessy and Robert Shepherd

Distributed for Haus Publishing

Foreword by Melvyn Bragg
Introduction by Peter Hennessy and Robert Shepherd
800 pages | 5 x 8
Paper $24.95 ISBN: 9781912208982 Will Publish October 2020 Not for sale in the United Kingdom or Europe
On the BBC radio show Reflections with Peter Hennessy, the preeminent historian of British political life interviewed leading figures from the UK’s governing parties during the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Bringing together transcripts of the collected interviews for the first time, The Complete Reflections features interviews the biggest names from the Thatcher era, the New Labour years, and the coalition government of the 2010s. 

In The Complete Reflections, Peter Hennessy and Robert Shepherd provide not only an overview of the past three decades of British politics but also delve into the minds of those at the forefront of public life during times of great change. Hennessy’s deep knowledge and understanding of the lives and motivations of his interviewees, along with the obvious esteem in which they hold their interlocutor, leads to frank and revealing conversations in which the subject is not an object but an equal, giving these exchanges a unique veracity. The results are portraits of high authority, in which interviews become the chronicles that endure above all others—nothing less than the first draft of history.
Contents
In the BBC radio programme Reflections, Peter Hennessy, the preeminent historian of British political life, interviewed leading figures from of the UK’s governing parties during the late twentieth and early twenty first centuries. Bringing together the collected interviews for the first time, The Complete Reflections includes the biggest names from the Thatcher era, the New Labour years, and the coalition government of the 2010s, providing not only an overview of the last three decades of British politics but, in the form of interim biographies, delves into the minds of those at the forefront of public life during times of great change. The interviews in The Complete Reflections are emblematic of Hennessy’s characteristic style as an interviewer — probing, inquisitive, conversational, and humane. His deep knowledge and understanding of the lives and motivations of his interviewees, and the obvious esteem in which they hold their interlocutor, leads to frank and revealing conversations in which the subject is not an object but an equal, giving these exchanges a unique veracity. Even the most celebrated and successful politicians — and included are candid interviews with former Prime Ministers Tony Blair and John Major — have lead careers not only of triumph but also, inevitably, of disappointment and regret. Giving his interviewees space to ruminate on the significant, meaningful and controversial chapters in their careers, Hennessy gives us portraits of great authority, allowing us to believe that when the dust settles the interview, rather than the biography, may be the chronicle that endures above all others, and is nothing less than the first draft of history.
Review Quotes
Carolyn Quinn
  “Peter Hennessy’s conversations with leading politicians of our time have reinvented the political interview.”
Robert Peston
“Compelling stuff.”
Nick Robinson
“The art of the interview is to caress, coax, and cajole your subject into revealing more about themselves than they ever planned to do. Peter Hennessy does just that with verve and panache.”
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