Most helpful critical review
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Not as good as the first volume
on 31 January 2013
You can't fault Campbell for not doing his research. This is an extraordinarily detailed work. However it suffers from the same fault as the first volume - a tendency to defer to Thatcher's own account of herself. It's a biography, albeit a political biography, so perhaps it's a bit unfair to criticize its political judgement too much, but he takes too much of the received Thatcherite account at face value. Opinionated and often extraordinarily ignorant, Thatcher pursued a course whose consequences we are still living with. Privatization was not a wonderful success. The economy did not improve. Northern Ireland remained an unresolved problem. It's hard to see this as success, so I would have preferred a more informed and critical political assessment. Campbell offers a version of the received account - "standing up to terrorists", rather than failing to address the problems of Northern Ireland, "defeating the unions" rather than destroying the manufacturing base upon which union power was based and not enough about her (unintended) contribution to the rise of Scottish nationalism - a subject the English barely think worth mentioning. He's quite even handed over Europe and the exasperation she caused which resulted in Britain carping on the sidelines rather than involved in the decisions. But a fascinating read and well worth the price.