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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: William Collins; Abridged edition edition (9 April 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007366655
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007366651
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 2.9 x 13.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 429,056 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

Tributes to Margaret Thatcher:

‘She fought against the clubby, cosy, male-dominated consensus of both main parties – and she won.’ Boris Johnson, Mayor of London

‘She will be remembered as a unique figure. She reshaped the politics of a whole generation. She was Britain's first woman prime minister. She moved the centre ground of British politics and was a huge figure on the world stage.’ Ed Miliband, Leader of the Labour Party

‘The world has lost one of the great champions of freedom and liberty, and America has lost a true friend. She stands as an example to our daughters that there is no glass ceiling that can't be shattered. She helped restore the confidence and pride that has always been the hallmark of Britain at its best.’ Barack Obama, President of the United States of America

About the Author

Margaret Thatcher's political career was one of the most remarkable of modern times. Born in Grantham in 1925, she rose to become the first woman to lead a major Western democracy. She won three successive general elections and served as prime minister for more than eleven years, from 1979 to 1990, a record unmatched in the twentieth century.


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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By MR ALEXANDER J OREILLY on 13 May 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A surprisingly good read. I bought the book as a companion to Charles Moore's authorised biography and it's interesting to get Thatcher's own take on her life. You can hear her voice in every page. The book finishes in 1990 but then I suppose it was downhill for her after then anyway... I'd recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand what made the Iron Lady tick.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By PishPash on 27 April 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
This is an abridged version of two books combined - 'The Downing Street Years' and 'The Path To Power'. - below is a quote that explains why it has been re-released in this way -

Martin Redfern, Editorial Director of HarperPress, said: "For the autobiography, we have condensed the memoirs down to some of the most fascinating times, and arranged it chronologically... It is a long time since they first appeared, and it was her wish that this book should come out following her death, that it would be a testament to her."

For me, this is a version of two books that has made the material far more appealing and accessible than it had been in its predeceasing volumes. I'm not a Thatcherite myself, nor am I anti-Thatcher, but having got involved in numerous discussions about her, since her death, so in the interests of gaining further insight, this somewhat more condensed version of events, found in this book, in her own words, has been great to read.

I can't draw a comparison between this and the original releases, as I don't know what has been omitted, however, at 700 pages, this was far less daunting a task than the 1,300+ paged alternatives would have been.
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer TOP 500 REVIEWER on 26 April 2013
Format: Hardcover
I would first like to say that I am not a fan of the late Margaret Thatcher, I disagreed with plenty of the things that she did during her time as prime minister. However, as someone with a keen interest in politics, I couldn't resist this book. Even if you didn't like her, this is a very interesting read.

'The Autobiography' is an abridged version of Margaret's two volumes of memoir, 'The Downing Street Years' (orginially published in 1993) and 'The Path To Power' (1995). I had already read the first book, so bought it primarily for the second one which focuses on her childhood and early years in politics before she became the UK's first female Prime Minister. Although I found it interesting, the second half is ultimately far superior and was worth reading for a second time.

I can see why Thatcher had decided to publish her books in reverse order. The public would definitely have been more interested in reading about her time at No.10 and for the publishers, it would have sold more copies. However, it is far better to have the story in order and for the reader to be able to follow Thatcher's life from birth to leaving Downing Street. The final chapters of the book make for very dramatic reading and finish the volume off to a satisfying end.

Despite it being abridged, all of the key moments, events, issues, exchanges and disagreements are all still included. For people wanting to have a first hand account of Thatcher's life - this must surely still be the definitive account. The whole book is very self serving (which is what you would probably expect anyway), but it is also very well written, frank and quite honest.

Whilst I would never had voted for Margaret Thatcher, I do respect the fact that she was a very intelligent woman, a great leader, public speaker and had the strength to carry out her convictions. Even though she's dead, love her or loathe her, Margaret Thatcher will be remembered (for both good and bad) forever.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Queen Latifa on 8 Oct. 2012
Format: Paperback
My expectations were that this would be much drier and more turgid than the eventful Downing Street Years. Actually it was very readable and interesting, touching on areas that are rarely discussed or understood, particularly the story behind the 2 1974 general elections and leadership challenge.

Thatcher then lists her fears and predictions for the coming years. This book was written in 1995 and her thoughts are disturbingly prescient. The rise of militant Islam, the fall of the Euro, the economic rise of the BRIC nations and much more.

Essential reading for anyone interested in post-war British politics
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Format: Paperback
This is an important book for anybody willing to understand Margaret Thatcher and her achievements. I am quite glad that I bought and read it and I enjoyed it - with the exception of two chapters (see below) - even if some fragments needed some effort to get through. Also the size of this opus reminds of a diplodocus (sorry for that, I couldn't resist). I certainly learned a lot from it and when closing this book I was very impressed.

Before going further, for sake of full disclosure, yes, I am a right-winged conservative and therefore, even if I am not British (I am Polish) and never even lived in United Kingdom, I always greatly admired and respected Margaret Thatcher. Even more, I consider her, together with Ronald Reagan, as one of only two really admirable major political figures of western democracies in those last 50 years or so - in fact, the only really visionary, able and courageous statesmen ("hommes d'état") in the West since Churchill and Truman. I had to say it to make it clear that as far I am concerned this book was preaching to the choir - and therefore I am not entirely objective in my review...

As I already mentioned, I greatly enjoyed reading most of this book. The style is of course that of a political autobiography written relatively soon after leaving the office, therefore Margaret Thatcher had to use some restraint, both in what she could reveal and in the language used. Some basic knowledge of British politics and international problems in the 80s will greatly help in understanding and enjoying this book.
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