The Making of the Prime Minister: Rise of Boris Johnson

Book: The Making of the Prime Minister

Author: Andrew Gimson

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Pages: 366;

Price: Rs 699

The British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is more in the news for his position on Brexit than anything else. He is facing a big challenge as elections will be held on December 12, 2019. He was a journalist and worked for leading publications like The Times, The Daily Telegraph and The Spectator. He also reported from the Brussels, the de facto capital of the European Union (EU).

Many of his friends including few journalists saw a future PM in Boris Johnson years ago. Earlier he served two terms as London Mayor. He represents Conservative party. Boris: The Making of the Prime Minister by a journalist Andrew Gimson is an important book to understand the British PM. The book was first published in 2006 and last updated in 2016 with two new chapters. These two new chapters touch on his performance at the

2012 London Olympics and his return to the House of Commons in 2015. The book misses the life, struggle and career of Boris Johnson post 2016.

The book is about his early life, his journalistic career, his personal life and his rise in the Conservative party. He was Mayor of London between 2008 and 2016. He is a staunch supporter of Brexit. The author met and interviewed Boris Johnson’s friends, many journalists and parliamentarians and it made the book rich in content.

Boris’s great grandfather, Ali Kemal, was a Turkish journalist around First World War; it was also a period of last years of Ottoman Empire. Gimson writes, “At the end of the First World War, Ali Kemal became one of the most prominent advocates of co-operation with the victorious Allies, including the British, and the sworn enemy of the Turkish Nationalist movement which was emerging under the leadership of Kemal Ataturk”. For nationalists he was a traitor. Later on he tried to make peace with the nationalists but he did not succeed. He was finally killed on November 6, 1922.

He began his journalistic career with The Times but was sacked for falsifying a quotation. Later, he became Brussels’s correspondent of the Daily Telegraph. Boris started the job in 1989 and he made his name. The author says, “The greatest credit for giving Boris his second chance in journalism should actually go to Max Hastings, the then editor of the Daily Telegraph”. He was editor of The Spectator from 1999 to 2005. He was elected as MP from Henley in 2001 at the age of 31 but he continued to pursue journalism.

In the preface, author Andrew Gimson expressed doubt whether Boris will become a PM in future. The fact is he became PM. Boris Johnson was sworn-in as PM of the United Kingdom on July 24, 2019. He also served UK’s Foreign Secretary from 2016 to 2018. Though the book is not updated, it gives idea of Boris as a person and his ideas.

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