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Margaret Thatcher: Grocer's Daughter to Iron Lady Paperback – Abridged, 7 May 2009


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Product details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Abridged edition edition (7 May 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099540037
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099540038
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 3.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 380,362 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Anyone who really wants to know what happened between 1979 and 1990 should read this book" (John Rentoul Daily Telegraph)

"The best book yet written about Lady Thatcher" (Frank Johnson Daily Telegraph)

"Superbly researched...unlike so many others is neither hagiography nor hatchet-job, and probably gets closer to the truth than any...magnificently told" (Michael Dobbs Sunday Express)

"An enormously useful achievement...every twist and turn of her political life is here" (Matthew Parris The Times, Books of the Year)

"John Campbell's thorough biography... brought together in a useful abridged paperback version... Campbell is a leading political biographer... Campbell's vivid account is easy to read" (Brian Groom Financial Times)

Review

"thorough biography... Campbell is a leading political biographer... Campbell's vivid account is easy to read"

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Mr. D. Henley-Lock on 15 Sep 2009
Format: Paperback
The culmination of something like nine years of research, this book is tremendously informative. This book is excellent for those of us who weren't around to witness most of this crucial stage in British history; it gives detailed accounts of all the major triumphs and failings of Thatcher and her government and indeed a thirst to find out more. A brilliantly well-balanced book, this book is a good place to start learning about politics in the 1970s, '80s and '90s, and what is behind the Thatcherite policies still implemented today.
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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful By MarkK TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 17 May 2009
Format: Paperback
Though nearly two decades have passed since she left office, Margaret Thatcher continues to dominate British politics. Winning three straight general elections, her tenure as prime minister saw Britain reassert an aggressive role on the world stage and transformed the relationship of the state to the people. Demonized by her opponents and idolized by her supporters, she was a Rorschach test for the changing nation that she symbolized. Even today, both the Conservative and Labour parties continue to grapple with the legacy of 'Thatcherism', a label that reflects her success in redefining the political discourse of the nation.

One of the keys to understanding how these changes took place is to learn about the woman herself. In this, there are few better guides than John Campbell. An accomplished political biographer, his two-volume biography of Thatcher is the most comprehensive, detailed, and perceptive guide into her life and the influences that shaped it. This book is an updated and condensed version of Campbell's larger work. Expertly edited by David Freeman, it retains all of the essential insights of Campbell's earlier study, expressed in clear and accessible prose. For anyone seeking to understand "the Iron Lady" and how she changed Great Britain, this is the book to read.
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24 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Sabatini on 19 Sep 2010
Format: Paperback
Probably the most compelling, seductive text I have ever read about a political saga spanning over 30 years in my life. This book is so excellently researched and constructed that it makes very congenial and engaging reading. Every chapter of Maggie's career is here, and told so skilfully that it leaves one with a desperate hunger to read on (and on). After reading this book, twice, I was left with a real sympathy for her convictions, but more importantly a real sense of what it means to be Conservative, what it means to be decent and what it was like for her trying to instil these values onto a nation she cares so desperately for.

John Campbell's work has successfully expelled the the notions of a woman who was only for the rich, of a woman who stole milk from children, of a woman who ruined the country, and in doing so has created a magnificent, balanced work of genius that is a must-read for anybody that wishes to know more about this truly wonderful person.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Peter L. Hurst on 23 Sep 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
THE ENEMY WITHIN

'The Iron Lady' is an abridged single volume version of John Campbell's mammoth two part biography of Margaret Thatcher published in 2009. This volume skips over her rise to Downing Street and her subsequent fall from power and concentrates largely (80-90 percent of the volume) on her years in Downing street.

This remains the definitive biography of Thatcher, arguably the definitive political biography, it is extremely well researched, well-balanced, well written, fair, non-partisan and insightfull. The only criticism I can level is that it is a shame that in the condensing, much of her rise to power and her subsequent fall from grace are lost on the editor's floor.

Everyone is familiar with the Thatcher of 1975-90, which is really the story of 'Thatcherism' as opposed to Thatcher, less familiar is the story of the lower middle class, provincial Margaret Roberts of Grantham who came before; steeped as she was in Victorian values of old fasioned patriotism, puritanical Methodism, thrift, individual responsibility and public service derived largely from her father - and the Baroness Thatcher who come after this period of political dominance; a poignantly lonely, lost workaholic with no real friends and two dysfunctional grown up children.

The main insight that I gained from the book (a point that Campbell makes in a variety of ways during the book,) was that her greatest strength - without which she would not have climbed the political ladder, in her own way her rise to prominence in the 1970s was every bit as astonishing as Barack Obama's has been in the modern era - ultimately became her biggest flaw.
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By Amazon Customer TOP 500 REVIEWER on 14 Dec 2014
Format: Paperback
This volume combines the two books about Margaret Thatcher, written by the acclaimed political biographer John Campbell. Like the late woman herself, Campbell decided to write and publish the books about Thatcher's early years, and her years as Prime Minister of England separately.

Miraculously researched, beautifully written and illustrated with lots of black-and-white pictures, this abridged book offers a fairly balanced, very comprehensive overview of Thatcher's life and achievements. It isn't as heavy going as her own memoirs (as readable as they are), and although I found myself sometimes disagreeing with Campbell, I still regard this as the most worthwhile unauthorised book about Thatcher that I have ever read. Unlike a lot of the other Amazon reviews, I'm not a Maggie Thatcher supporter, but you can't ignore her, she was a political giant, and a woman who moved mountains. Her story from grocer's daughter in Grantham, to the highest office in the land is remarkable and inspiring.
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