Based on unrivalled access to all the key politicians and their advisors – including Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, George Osborne, Nigel Farage and Dominic Cummings, the mastermind of Vote Leave – Shipman has written a political history that reads like a thriller, and offers a gripping, day-by-day account of what really happened behind-the-scenes in Downing Street, both Leave campaigns, the Labour Party, Ukip and Britain Stronger in Europe.
Shipman gives his readers a ringside seat on how decisions were made, mistakes justified and betrayals perpetrated. Filled with stories, anecdotes and juicy leaks the book does not seek to address the rights and wrongs of Brexit but to explore how and why David Cameron chose to take the biggest political gamble of his life and explain why he lost.
This is a story of calculation, attempted coups, individuals torn between principles and loyalty. All the events are here – from David Cameron’s pledge to hold a referendum, through to the campaign itself, his resignation as prime minister, the betrayals and rivalries that occurred during the race to find his successor to the arrival of Theresa May in Downing Street as Britain’s second female prime minister.
All Out War is a book about leaders and their closest aides, the decisions they make and how and why they make them, as well as how they feel when they turn out to be wrong. It is about men who make decisions that are intellectually consistent and – by their own measure – morally sound that are simultaneously disastrous for themselves and those closest to them. It is about how doing what you know has worked before doesn’t always work again. Most of all it is about asking the question: how far are you prepared to go to win?
About the Author
Tim Shipman has been a national newspaper journalist for sixteen years and has a wealth of experience reporting on British and American politics and international relations. Currently the Political Editor of the Sunday Times, Tim has covered four British General Elections and three American elections from the US. Well known in the Westminster political mix, he is a trusted confidant of politicians from all political parties and has a growing following as a witty observer of the political scene.
`I can't imagine a more even-handed or better sourced, all points-of-view account of the biggest story in British politics since WWII ... A fine book' ANDREW MARR, Sunday Times
'Shipman's dispatches are a must read if you want to understand what happened beneath the smog and beyond the noise of the conflict' NICK ROBINSON
`Shipman is brilliantly qualified to write the inside story of the referendum, with his unrivalled access to all the players' JOHN RENTOUL
`One of the best political journalists of his era ... It's impossible to fully comprehend what happened on June 23 and the ensuing two weeks without reading this book ... Brilliant' IAIN DALE, LBC
`Shipman's book is by far the best. It is a detailed, often pitch-perfect account that delivers the tale with an infectious sense of human drama - no mean feat, given the task of completing the whole thing so quickly' JOHN HARRIS, New Statesman
`The essential account ... Shipman has spoken to every key individual to produce the definitive first draft of history, a comprehensive yet impartial study of how Brexit won' Financial Times
`Excellent ... Shipman convincingly marshals fresh evidence to prove what we already half-knew' WILL HUTTON, Observer
`The best political book of the year was undoubtedly Tim Shipman's masterly `All Out War'' New Statesman
`Stonkingly good: if you're vaguely interested in politics buy it. It won't be bettered' FRASER NELSON
`Thorough, comprehensive and utterly gripping. It is hard to imagine a better first draft of history' Economist
`Undoubtedly the British political book of the year' ALEX MASSIE
`Shipman, one of the most brilliant, best informed and well-connected journalists in Westminster, has written a superlative book which does full justice to a momentous time' PETER OBORNE
`Don't think any of the quotes do justice to quite how good it is. A superb work of reporting and storytelling, and sets new benchmark for the writing of contemporary political history' ANDREW SPARROW