She writes about the months leading up to the 1997 General Election, and Labour's landslide victory; and what had gone on as she underwent treatment for a brain tumour while working towards that victory. She tells the inside story of her time as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. The characters and the chemistry of this time are analysed with the candour, warmth and humour that are Mo Mowlam's trademarks. After the Good Friday Agreement, Mo Mowlam was, somewhat controversially, moved to the Cabinet Office. Before the second landslide victory of 2001, she decided to leave Westminster politics, and, in MOMENTUM, tells us why - and her hopes and plans for the future.
Publisher and industry reviews
'The record of a momentous journey ... and the life and thoughts of a remarkable woman' -- Guardian 'Refreshingly direct' -- The Sunday Times 20020429 'A highly accessible book likely to appeal to those more interested in the broad sweep of history than the detail of unionist, nationalist or republican theology' -- Irish Times 20020429 'Overwhelmingly this book is an intelligent, thoroughly readable account and analysis of the peace process in Northern Ireland' -- Guardian 20020429 'Mo Mowlam clearly loved her two-and-a-half years as secretary of state for Northern Ireland ... in this lucidly written work she evokes the experience vividly and vibrantly. Her text offers easily the best account of a turbulent decade in the history of the province.' -- The Sunday Times 20020429 'Mo remains a glorious, one-off, life-enhancing phenomenon' -- Yorkshire Post 20020429 'Full of warmth and wit' -- Daily Express 20030201 'an accessible and intelligent behind-the-scenes look at the shaping of the Northern Ireland peace process' -- Irish Post 20030125
UK Kirkus review
This is the story of Mo Mowlam's time in government, told in her own candid and unpretentious style. Full of political detail (including a useful chronology and glossary), it's both interesting and easy to read. In the months leading up to the General Election in 1997, Mowlam underwent treatment for a brain tumour and fought bravely against the inevitable tiredness and press scrutiny that this generated. This experience increased public sympathy for her and helped her to become one of the most popular and respected figures in British politics. Mowlam's integrity and warmth are apparent in this account of her time as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. Faced with an uphill battle, against a backdrop of historical and current violence, Mowlam carried the peace movement forward by endless, intricate processes. Fraught with pitfalls, halted by continuing outbreaks of violence and tragedy, it needed all of Mowlam's skills to stop it from disintegrating completely, and her unique style of humanity and humour proved to be an effective means of keeping both sides of the conflict at the negotiating table. Ultimately, Mowlam could be seen as a victim of her own success. Voted European Person of the Year by Time magazine, she was a popular and well-respected public figure both at home and with many of the Irish people. But despite her popularity and commitment to her role in Northern Ireland, she was replaced by Peter Mandelson in October 1999. Her sense of frustration at having to leave at such a 'crucial stage in the peace process' is clear. She also details some of the reasons why she began to be seen as incompatible with the rest of New Labour's inner circle. The book ends on a positive note with Mowlam's plans for the future, including involvement in cross-community education in Northern Ireland, promoting the development of holiday homes for older disabled people and halfway houses for ex-drug addicts. This book is a tribute to Mowlam's belief in the positive effects of people working together to overcome seemingly insurmountable problems, and a reminder that honest political efforts really can make the world a better place. (Kirkus UK)
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