Last night I finished reading the new biography CAMERON: THE RISE OF THE NEW CONSERVATIVE by Francis Elliott and James Hanning. This is not a book to challenge the reader, but it was never meant to be. Its sole purpose was to delve into the character of David Cameron and enable the reader to find out a little more about a politician who could be the country's next Prime Minister. To eek out 300 pages on someone who has only recently turned forty is an achievement in itself.
This book is best in the chapters detailing Cameron's family background, childhood and marriage. In particular the authors deserve praise for the way they handled the chapter on the Camerons's disabled son Ivan. They write about him in a way which is empathetic and at at times harrowing.
One minor complaint is the chapter on the leadership election, which I didn't feel told us anything that we didn't know before. It should have been the definitive account, but fell some way short. Perhaps I was too close to it to be a good judge, but it could have been rather more colourful than it turned out to be. Similarly I didn't feel the final chapter left us much the wiser about what a Cameron government would do or how it would operate. Perhaps that is being left for the inevitable paperback!
Elliott and Hanning have done what their publishers no doubt wanted. they have written a book aimed at a Daily Mail reader who quite likes what they see of Cameron but wants to know a bit more about him and his character. It is a book which is not really aimed at a political audience, but at the general reader. And as such it ought to sell very well indeed.