Published On: Thu, Sep 21st, 2017

Alastair Campbell: My six best books


TEAM OF RIVALS 

by Doris Kearns Goodwin

Penguin, £14.99 

One of the best books written about politics. It brilliantly tells the story of Abraham Lincoln’s remarkable rise and how he built his administration around his rivals for the Republican nomination. It is a horrible thought that Donald Trump could now sleep in the Lincoln bed and the book’s a great reminder of a very different presidential character. 

MADAME BOVARY 

by Gustave Flaubert 

Penguin, £8.99 

The story of doctor’s wife Emma Bovary, her affairs and her attempts to escape a banal provincial life. It made me fall in love with the French language, a love that’s endured rather longer than hers did for her husband. 

DE GAULLE 

by Aidan Crawley 

Out of print 

When Michael Foot died, his family asked friends to help themselves to some of his books. This, published in the late 1960s, was one of the gems we found. It includes a wonderful depiction of De Gaulle’s complicated, rich relationship with Churchill. 

THIS SPORTING LIFE 

by David Storey 

Vintage, £8.99 

This story of the tough life of a rugby league player is still the best novel about sport. I have finally had a go at a sporting novel myself, Saturday Bloody Saturday, co-authored with former Burnley player Paul Fletcher. 

CHASE THE RAINBOW 

by Poorna Bell 

Simon & Schuster, £12.99 

As a campaigner for Time To Change, I am pleased to say there has been a glut of mental health books recently and this is one of the most powerful. Poorna’s husband Rob killed himself in 2015 and this is superb at stripping the stigma surrounding depression. 

THE GREATEST COMEBACK 

by David Bolchover 

Biteback, £20 

This so gripped me that I read it in a single day. It is about Béla Guttmann, a Hungarian Jew and Holocaust survivor who became one of the first great European football coaches.


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