Books of the year 2010 | Robert Skidelsky

Trio: Inside the Blair, Brown, Mandelson Project by Giles Radrice


"Companies should not be run in the interests of their owners," is just one of Ha-Joon Chang's bold and counter-intuitive arguments in 23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism (Allen Lane, £20). Chang relentlessly skewers free-market dogma and the intellectual failures of the economics profession that peddles it, arguing that the neoliberal era of Thatcher and Reagan has failed to improve the lot of either rich or poor countries. A must-read for those looking for alternatives to current orthodoxy. Giles Radice's Trio: Inside the Blair, Brown, Mandelson Project (I B Tauris, £20) tells the story of the rise and fall of New Labour through the intertwining lives and careers of the three politicians who did most to shape it. Well-paced and engrossing, it brings out the power and inherent instability of collective leadership. Perhaps surprisingly, Mandelson emerges best, because least consumed by personal ambition. Radice's conclusion: "They helped make Britain a fairer and more civilised place . . . But [had they] combined more effectively, New Labour could have achieved more."

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This article first appeared in the 22 November 2010 issue of the New Statesman, Advantage Cameron