And I couldn’t. Every time I made the effort, my eyes just glazed over before the end of a paragraph.
Insofar as I can make out, the book is not really about politics at all - in the sense of addressing question about how public life is or should be organized. It is more like celebrity gossip - and as Barbara Ellen says, not even new gossip.
The difference is that readers of this guff can sanctimoniously deceive themselves that they are taking an interest in affairs of state whilst looking down on readers of Heat magazine or viewers of Big Brother.
But the reality is that the two have much in common - they‘re pressing their face against a window, hoping for a glimpse into more glamorous lives.
Except for one thing. It could be that Mandelson-style gossip has nastier consequences. It displaces substantive discussion of politics - about policy - from the media. And it turns people away from politics, thinking it is mere tittle-tattle about dullards.
The counter-argument here is that the animosity between Blair and Brown has had genuine political effects. It led to worse government than we’d have had if their relationship had been less hostile.
This claim, however, is not self-evident. It requires arguing: what good policies were not followed because Blair and Brown hated each other? What bad policies were pursued? What was the causal mechanism?
For every ton of story about Blair and Brown, we seem to get barely an ounce of answers to these questions.
Indeed, it is possible that their relationship did not have significant adverse effects . It did not stop New Labour winning two big election victories, in 2001 and 2005. And it is not just hostile relations that can undermine good government. So too can very close relationships, which can lead to groupthink. New Labour's cringeing subservience to big business, its attack upon civil liberties and tolerance of increasing inequality had deeper causes than merely Blair and Brown's failure to get on.
But what if this is wrong, and talk of the Blair-Brown feud isn’t mere tittle-tattle, but really did affect all our everyday lives? Isn’t there an implication here?
If the quality of government can be materially diminished by its leaders dysfunctional characters and relationships, isn’t this a case for reorganizing government to make it less dependent upon individuals - to downgrade the significant of “leaders”?
This, though, is an inference no-one seems to be drawing. But then we want politicians to fulfil the same role as Kerry Katona - to give us something to gossip about.