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Margaret Thatcher Hardcover – 14 Oct 2013

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 784 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Continuum (14 Oct. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408831848
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408831847
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 6.1 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 197,619 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

The most readable, most entertaining book on Thatcher Ive read, and probably the most illuminating.,A magnificent work highly readable, carefully researched and above all brutally honest.,One day we might reach a reasonable assessment of Thatcher... This book, by an alarmingly candid friend, will go a long way towards helping find that balance.,Shrewd and compelling... [Aitken's account of] the hubris, machinations and miscalculations that led to Margaret Thatcher's downfall has real dramatic pace.,Aitken is an accomplished biographer and wordsmith. This book is highly readable and highly recommended.,Splendidly honest --Daily Telegraph

One day we might reach a reasonable assessment of Thatcher... This book, by an alarmingly candid friend, will go a long way towards helping find that balance - Simon Hoggart, The Guardian

Shrewd and compelling... [Aitken's account of] the hubris, machinations and miscalculations that led to Margaret Thatcher's downfall has real dramatic pace --John Campbell, Sunday Times

Aitken is an accomplished biographer and wordsmith. This book is highly readable and highly recommended - Neil Hamilton, Sunday Express

Splendidly honest --Jon Henley, The Guardian

About the Author

Jonathan Aitken, a former MP and cabinet minister, is the author of 14 books including his award winning biography of President Richard Nixon.


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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Dr Barry Clayton TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 25 Oct. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
After the recent biography by Charles Moore (vol 1)one might wonder what is the point of another book about Margaret Thatcher, especially so soon. In fact Jonathan Aiken demonstrates in his latest book there is a point.
His book is a far more personal account of Margaret Thatcher. The reader is given a ring-side seat to view her strengths and weaknesses.

Aitken's key aim is to describe what she was like as a person and prime minister, especially what she was trying to do and why, and to assess the consequences. He was a member of her cabinet and for a while very close to the Thatcher family-for 3 years he dated Caroline Thatcher before he ended the relationship. His political career ended when he was jailed for perjury (he has written two splendid books about his time in prison).

In this account Aitken describes warts and all the deceased character. She could be charming, kind yet rude, abrasive and cold. he argues, as have others, that her achievements were major, the Falklands, ending the miners strike, and getting President Reagan and Gorbachev to meet and talk.

He is very critical of Howe and Heseltine for their attack on Thatcher which eventually led to her downfall. He quotes her press secretary as saying:'probably the most tactless woman I have ever met in my life'. Aitken says she was never a fan of cabinet government (neither was Blair or Brown), 'consensus had no appeal for her'. At one cabinet meeting she told Howe (foreign secretary) 'your paper is twaddle. complete and utter twaddle'. Understandably, such outbursts in front of other ministers, no matter how accurate, caused dismay and anger. After her retirement from politics she lambasted Howe and co as traitors. Even her chosen successor, John Major, did not escape her sharp tongue.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By LoveLife Reading List on 24 Jun. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I chose to read this biography as it encapsulates the whole life of Margaret Thatcher in one book. Its author, Jonathan Aitken has known Margareth Thatcher and her family quite intimately. In particular, he dated her daughter Carol Thatcher. He has been as well a Conservative Member of Parliament in the United Kingdom for 24 years, and a former British government Cabinet minister.

The book is easy to read and very entertaining. You feel you are in the room, witnessing Margaret Thatcher's decision making process. There are also emotional moments when you feel in awe for her courage and steadfast determination.

I particularly enjoyed two specific features of the book. Each chapter terminates with a reflection where the author provides his personal insights on the events described in the chapter or one traits of Margaret thatcher's personality. The author has made over 90 interviews and he intersperses the narration with quotes from close acquaintances. Those quotes provide an insightful perspective on Margaret thatcher's personality.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Colin MacKay on 27 Nov. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I find Jonathan Aitken a splendid writer. Clear flowing prose. Very well referenced. His 'Reflection' at end of each chapter much appreciated.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By lawman on 18 Nov. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A full and interesting story of this remarkable womans life and achievements - one that is certainly readable time and again.
This book provides the insight into her character and strengths, you wont really know her until you read this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Sharp on 31 May 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Aitken reveals he was the original choice to be the official biographer. he thinks enoch powell would have defeated thatcher in 75 for the leadership if he had been a conservative mp.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By angela haworth on 14 April 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Most dis[passionate and insightful biography that I have read.It is unlike some biographies an easy read.The book itself is in excellent condition.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very readable. Aitken is no sycophant, drawing attention to Thatcher's weaknesses as well as her strengths. If you lived through the 1980s it will bring back memories, and also provide fresh information and insights into a period that stopped Britain's post-war decline.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Valerie Stones on 31 Dec. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have not finished the book yet but as a long time admirer of Thatcher and being born and bred in Lincolnshire I am finding it a very good read and it tells the story of Margaret, "warts and all"
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