Back from the Brink by Alistair Darling
1000 Days at Number 11

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 5 Critic Reviews



Alistair Darling's long-awaited book will be one of the most reviewed, widely discussed, and saleable political memoirs of recent years. In the late summer of 2007, shares of Northern Rock went into free-fall, causing a run on the bank - the first in over 150 years. Northern Rock proved to be only the first. Twelve months later, as the world was engulfed in the worst banking crisis for more than a century, one of its largest banks, RBS, came within hours of collapse. Back from the Brink tells the gripping story of Alistair Darling's one thousand days in Number 11 Downing Street. As Chancellor, he had to avert the collapse of RBS hours before the cash machines would have ceased to function; at the eleventh hour, he stopped Barclays from acquiring Lehman Brothers in order to protect UK taxpayers; he used anti-terror legislation to stop Icelandic banks from withdrawing funds from Britain. From crisis talks in Washington, to dramatic meetings with the titans of international banking, to dealing with the massive political and economic fallout in the UK, Darling places the reader in the rooms where the destinies of millions weighed heavily on the shoulders of a few. His book is also a candid account of life in the Downing Street pressure cooker and his relationship with Gordon Brown during the last years of New Labor. Back from the Brink is a vivid and immediate depiction of the British government's handling of an unprecedented global financial catastrophe. Alistair Darling's knowledge and understanding provide a unique perspective on the events that rocked international capitalism. It is also a vital historical document.

About Alistair Darling

See more books from this Author
Alistair Darling is the Member of Parliament for Edinburgh South West. Initially appointed as Chief Secretary to the Treasury in 1997, he moved to become Secretary of State for Work and Pensions in 1998. He spent another four years as Secretary of State for Transport, also becoming Secretary of State for Scotland in 2003. He served as Secretary of State for Trade and Industry in 2006, before Gordon Brown promoted him to Chancellor in 2007.
Published June 1, 2012 by Atlantic Books. 353 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Business & Economics, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Back from the Brink

The Guardian

See more reviews from this publication

Alistair Darling has acknowledged that it might have been right to try to depose Gordon Brown when he was prime minister, but said he had been held back by "residual loyalty".

Sep 04 2011 | Read Full Review of Back from the Brink: 1000 Day...

The Guardian

See more reviews from this publication

It culminated in Brown attempting to force out his chancellor: failing because Darling wouldn't budge and Brown was now too enfeebled to insist.

Sep 10 2011 | Read Full Review of Back from the Brink: 1000 Day...

The Guardian

See more reviews from this publication

Barclays pulled out after several weeks of intense bidding and counter-bidding and RBS, along with a consortium of foreign banks, bought large parts of the Dutch bank.

Sep 11 2011 | Read Full Review of Back from the Brink: 1000 Day...


he does not tell us why he was unable to persuade the Governor to do more to keep Northern Rock afloat or why the Government committed so much money to buying bank shares instead of protecting the parts which mattered so they could trade.

Sep 11 2011 | Read Full Review of Back from the Brink: 1000 Day...

London School of Economics

Darling makes it evidently clear that he and King failed to see eye to eye on a range of issues during the crisis, from King’s initial refusals to inject the fledgling economy with cash to his impromptu bumbling into politics and policy.

May 11 2012 | Read Full Review of Back from the Brink: 1000 Day...

Rate this book!

Add Review