A major and controversial new biography of one of the most compelling and contradictory figures in modern British life. Born Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, to most of us he is just ‘ Boris’ – the only politician of the age to be regarded in such familiar, even affectionate terms. Uniquely, he combines comedy with erudition, gimlet-eyed focus with jokey self-deprecation, and is a loving family man with a roving eye.
He is also a hugely ambitious figure with seemingly no huge ambitions to pursue – other than, perhaps, power itself. In this revealing biography, written from the vantage point of a once close colleague, Sonia Purnell examines how a shy, young boy from a broken home became our only box-office politician – and most unlikely sex god; how the Etonian product fond of Latin tags became a Man of the People – and why he wanted to be; how the gaffe-prone buffoon charmed Londonders to win the largest personal mandate Britain has ever seen; and how the Johnson family built our biggest – and blondest – media and political dynasty.
The first forensic account of a remarkable rise to fame and power, Just Boris unravels this most compelling of political enigmas and asks whether the Mayor who dreams of crossing the Thames to Downing Street has what it takes to be Prime Minister.
'If you want the full Johnson experience, do read Sonia Purnell's new biography, Just Boris ... Johnson's supporters have depicted the book as a hatchet job. But actually it struck me as commendably fair' - Andrew Sparrow, UK Political Journalist of the Year
'Gripping' - Quentin Letts (Book of the Week)
'Future biographers will always be in her debt. Purnell has accumulated a wealth of previously unknown detail' - Andrew Gimson
'Filled with gems ... will make uncomfortable reading for Boris' - Camilla Long
'Gives good pointers on Johnson’ s real beliefs as to who should be the [Conservatives’ ] leader, and on his future relationship with Cameron' - Stephen Hammond MP
‘Thoroughly researched and well-crafted … If you want to know who and what Boris is, read Sonia Purnell's book.’
About the Author
Sonia Purnell is a writer and journalist known for her investigative skills and lively writing style. She started work at the Economist Intelligence Unit, edited a weekly financial magazine when only 25, and then went on to a senior position on the Daily Telegraph's City pages. It was whilst working in the Telegraph's Brussels bureau in the early Nineties that she first came into close contact with Boris Johnson, then at a turning point in his personal life and working career. After her stint in Brussels, Sonia wrote about government for the Daily Telegraph and then the Daily Mail, where she was Whitehall Editor. She is now freelance and lives in London with her husband and two sons.