Knopf has won the rights to publish Tony Blair’s memoirs, a Random House source said. The Blair book was the subject of an intense auction; D.C. lawyer and literary agent Robert Barnett represented Mr. Blair, and has also represented both Bill Clinton and Alan Greenspan. No word yet on the Blair advance, but we’ll update you.
UPDATE: A press release from Random House announcing the deal went out this afternoon. UK rights for the book went to Hutchinson, which is part of the Random House Group.
In an interview this afternoon, Knopf editor Ash Green said he was surprised that Knopf prevailed in the auction.
“I thought Rupert Murdoch would get it,” he said. “Because Murdoch for ten years supported Blair through his newspapers, and he has the Sunday Times first serialization, and he has HarperCollins, that seemed to be a natural fit. Our English cousins have strong connections to Blair, but I didn’t think they quite equaled… I think there was some wonder here whether the agent was using us as a stalking horse to get Murdoch’s price up."