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Chris Patten’s new “sort of memoir” almost comes off

It is more philosophical than your average political memoir—but the reader is left longing for something juicier

By Alex Dean   August 2017

First Confession: A Sort of Memoir by Chris Patten (Allen Lane, £20)

Chris Patten doesn’t like political memoirs: not the usual kind, anyway. At their worst, he writes in his own effort First Confession, they “seem almost written straight out of the office diary… who said or did what to whom… What colour boxer shorts was the prime minister wearing?” The standard memoir written by a politician specialises in tittle-tattle and not much else, he says, leaving the reader with little real understanding of the political system, and the people who inhabit…

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