The "revealing" political autobiography of Wales' First Minister Rhodri Morgan is set to be released by University of Wales Press in September, months after his unexpected death in May.
The book promises to recount Morgan's turbulent relationship with Tony Blair and those running the New Labour project, along with the party establishment’s campaign to prevent him becoming Labour leader in Wales, despite being the choice of party members and union members.
The title details the two leadership contests Morgan fought and how "the people’s choice" eventually prevailed. He also offers insight into the workings of the Welsh Government, to the challenges of dealing with coalition government arrangements, and how the stress of trying to sell one of those coalition agreements to party members landed him in hospital having heart surgery.
The memoir features stories on Tony Blair, Alastair Campbell, Peter Mandelson, Jonathan Powell, John Smith, Neil Kinnock, John Prescott, Ron Davies, Peter Hain, Alun Michael, John Redwood, Austin Mitchell, Margaret Thatcher, Jeremy Paxman, and Jilly Cooper, among others.
"From the master of the colourful soundbite, this is the fast-paced, highly amusing, inside story of the decade leading up to the creation of the Welsh Assembly and the first ten years of that institution’s history. The book is an entertaining and candid account of Morgan's sometimes turbulent, often controversial, but never boring, political life", the publisher, which holds world rights to the title, said.
Natalie Williams, director at the University of Wales Press, added: "The honour and privilege that Rhodri Morgan bestowed upon the University of Wales Press in publishing his autobiography took on new meaning following his sad and unexpected passing in May 2017, just months before his book was due for release. Rhodri’s warmth, wit and down to earth manner was unusual for the straight-talking and politically gifted mind behind it – something that colleagues at the Press greatly enjoyed and admired him for.
"Rhodri’s character shines through in his writing, providing a stimulating narrative through the fascinating and eye-opening stories he shares of his experiences and run-ins throughout his political career. The University of Wales Press is both proud and grateful to have captured Rhodri’s legacy, and this unique book is tribute and testament to Wales’s first First Minister, the father of Welsh devolution."
Morgan collapsed and died while cycling in the lanes near his home earlier this year. He was 77 years old.
Rhodri: A Political Life in Wales and Westminster will be published by the University of Wales Press on 24th September 2017 as a £24.99 hardback, to coincide with Labour’s Annual Conference in Brighton.
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