30 Days: A month at the heart of Blair’s war
HarperCollins, $24.95 pb, 244 pp
This book is as beguilingly English as a Fortnum & Mason picnic hamper. Peter Stothard (a former editor of The Times and current editor of the Times Literary Supplement) spent a month inside 10 Downing Street reporting in intimate detail the comings and goings there during the critical days before and after the Coalition of the Willing began its assault on Iraq on March 20 this year. He evokes a life-size doll’s house from which a war is being waged by perplexed adults in suits and jeans, who pick spasmodically at substandard food, fantasise about fitness régimes and support spectacularly unsuccessful soccer teams. The man in charge lives in a flat above this strange enterprise with the rest of his family.