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Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair's memoir is promoted at a bookshop in London on Wednesday, the first day of sales. The book, A Journey, is to hit Canadian shelves on Thursday. ((Kirsty Wigglesworth/Associated Press))

Former British prime minister Tony Blair's long-awaited memoir hit bookshelves in Britain on Wednesday with some harsh words for his former lieutenant and successor, Gordon Brown.

In his book, A Journey, Blair calls Brown a difficult and "maddening" man with "zero" emotional intelligence.

However, he describes Brown as "also strong, capable and brilliant."

"Political calculation, yes," Blair writes. "Political feelings, no. Analytical intelligence, absolutely. Emotional intelligence, zero."

The book is due on Canadian store shelves on Thursday.

Blair also makes no apology for following former U.S. president George W. Bush into the war in Iraq.

He calls Bush an intelligent man of integrity and "a true idealist."

Blair recalls that he cried at the loss of British soldiers and civilians in Iraq, but he maintains it was right to oust Saddam Hussein.

"I can't regret the decision to go to war," he writes.

Blair is currently in Washington, D.C., for Mideast peace talks.

Blair interview

CBC News chief correspondent Peter Mansbridge interviewed Tony Blair on the eve of the book's release. You can see an excerpt Wednesday on The National  at 9 p.m. ET on CBC News Network, or at 10 p.m. local time on CBC-TV. The full interview will run Thursday night.

However, he is slated to attend book signings in Dublin on Saturday and in London on Sept. 8.,  which will be high-security events.

In his book, which took three years to write, Blair also offers details about his interactions with the Queen.

Blair was paid an estimated $7.5 million Cdn for his book. He is donating proceeds to a charity for injured soldiers.

With files from The Associated Press