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Tony Blair Memoir 'The Journey' To Be Published In September

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LONDON — Will he expose the deal critics suspect carried Britain and the United States to war in Iraq? Take aim at those who dubbed him President George W. Bush's poodle? Describe his furious arguments with successor Gordon Brown?

Probably not. But Tony Blair promised Thursday to give the public intimate insight into his decade as British Prime Minister when his much-anticipated memoir, "The Journey," is published in September.

Publisher Random House paid an estimated 5 million pounds ($7.5 million) for Blair's personal account of his time in power, after a bidding war that Washington literary power-broker Robert Barnett – an attorney whose clients include President Barack Obama, his predecessor George W. Bush and both Bill and Hillary Clinton – described as among the most fierce in memory.

The book will be closely read for revelations about the push to war in Iraq, tense negotiations to win peace in Northern Ireland and Blair's sometimes troubled relationship with Brown, who succeeded him in 2007.

"I have tried to write a book which describes the human as much as the political dimensions of life as prime minister," Blair said in a statement. "Though necessarily retrospective, it is an attempt to inform and shape current and future thinking as much as a historical account of the past."

Random House said the book would be published in Britain under its Hutchinson imprint, and in North America by Knopf. Blair himself will narrate the audiobook version.

The timing means Blair's autobiography won't appear before Britain's next national election, which must be held by early June. Blair won three election victories for his Labour Party, beginning in 1997.

Gail Rebuck, chief executive of Random House, said the book would break new ground.

"His book is frank, open, revealing, and written in an intimate and accessible style," said Rebuck, whose husband Philip Gould is a former adviser to Blair.

Blair will carry out an international promotional tour for the book, which will cost 25 pounds ($38).

Andrew Lake, the political buyer for Waterstone's book store chain, said Blair's book "should be the best selling political memoir since Margaret Thatcher's."

Blair has been the subject of numerous books, notably the best-seller "The Blair Years," by Alastair Campbell, his former press secretary. Blair himself put out "New Britain: My Vision of a Young Country," a collection of speeches and articles from 1997, when he won power.

Random House confirmed that Blair wrote "The Journey," himself, without a ghost writer.

Brown's spokesman, Simon Lewis, declined to say whether the current prime minister planned to order a copy.

"He hasn't specifically mentioned that book, but I know he has a wide-ranging interest in books," Lewis told reporters.

Critics have lampooned the book's title and a solemn Blair portrait on the jacket sleeve. Conservative Party activist Iain Dale – a former bookseller – said it looked like "the memoirs of a has-been soap star."

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