This is an amiable memoir, from a very amiable politician.[1] Everyone is “a nice guy.” Almost no one, no opponent, no leader of any other country except Saddam Hussein, is not “a nice guy,” and like a children’s prize day, almost everyone gets a superlative. Lee Kuan Yew was the smartest, Bill Clinton politically the cleverest, George W. Bush the most principled; Nicolas Sarkozy the most energetic; Paul Keating the most entertaining (undoubtedly true, even over apparent runners-up Silvio Berlusconi and Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott—strong contenders certainly). Ariel Sharon was the toughest; with that strange British weakness for scatology, Blair pronounced Sharon “someone who could make the shit go back up the bull’s bottom.” Condoleezza Rice is, perhaps, the most decent.

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