I must declare an interest. I was employed by The Times between 1993 and 1998, and figured in the crisis which, in Graham Stewart's words, ‘was to tarnish the paper's reputation across wide sections of the British public and beyond’. I had charged that from 1996, when I was its East Asia editor, the paper kowtowed to the views of the proprietor, Rupert Murdoch. Peter Stothard, the editor, denied that Murdoch had ever given him directions on any subject, including how to cover China. This disagreement led to my resignation. Stewart handles this matter fairly, although I don't agree with all his conclusions.
Some might suggest that the book is already compromised because it is an official history, and its publisher is owned by Rupert Murdoch. Stewart tells us that he has written leaders for The Times: this may account for some overheated language when praising the paper's leader writers.
Stewart’s book should appeal