Unlike most politicians who write autobiographies to provide retrospective justification for their careers, Chris Patten uses each phase of his life as a spur to reflect upon its contemporary situation – education, America, conservatism, Ireland, China, Europe and the question of links between violence and religion.
Patten's career has taken him from the outer London suburbs to the House of Commons, a seat in the Cabinet, last Governor of Hong Kong, Chairman of the BBC, and Chancellor of Oxford University. He has unexpected and telling things to say about each of the three Prime Ministers for whom he worked – Edward Heath, Margaret Thatcher and John Major.
Wise, funny and opinionated, "First Confession" is a different sort of memoir, a meditation on personal and political identity which, in an age of simplification, reminds us of the complexities of both.
Patten will meet with members at the Chamber's Distinguished Speakers Series to talk about his new book on 20 September. A short book-signing session will be held after the talk. You are recommended to purchase the book in advance if you wish to get your copy signed. Places are limited so book early to secure your seat.