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Not for Turning: The Life of Margaret Thatcher

Not for Turning: The Life of Margaret Thatcher [Kindle Edition]

Robin Harris
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Product Description


"The political biography of the decade" Daily Mail "No-holds-barred, well-written... contains the most authoritative account of her life after leaving office... a dramatic account." -- Philip Webster The Times "[a] lively and accessible insider's account" -- Peter Clarke Financial Times "After all the eulogies, it is refreshing to read about an odd, driven, believable person - rather than some abstract national saviour or demon... Harris is like a long-faithful courtier freed by a monarch's death to speak the truth about them." -- Andy Beckett Guardian "Remarkable... A vivid and concise study in adversity, triumph and treachery." -- Daniel Johnson Standpoint

Book Description

The defining biography of Margaret Thatcher, written by a member of her inner circle

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 6306 KB
  • Print Length: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Transworld Digital (20 April 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
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  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #97,917 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
By markr TOP 500 REVIEWER
I thoroughly enjoyed this well written and informative account of the life Margaret Thatcher. The author, Robin Harris, who worked in the Cabinet office until Thatcher's defenestration in 1990, and who remained close to her in her retirement, including by drafting her memoirs,has clearly attempted to give an unbiased view. He does not shy away from critism of Thatcher's behaviour or at times of her policies or performance. For example he draws attention to her sometimes strident manner with colleagues, and is lukewarm at best about her perfomance as Education Secretary in the Heath government. John Major, Malcolm Rifkind and assorted other former colleagues are excoriated in these pages.

Overall all however, it is clear that the author held Margaret Thatcher in the highest regard, both as a person and as a leader who utterly changed the British politcal landscape.

Harris's personal political position tends to shine through at times - disapproval of the European Union,strong admiration for Ronald Reagan, approval of the actions taken by the USA in Greneda and many other events and personalities receive a little personal touch in the account...Neil Kinnock is usually found in sentences which also include the word 'unfortunately'

This, then, is a personal view of the life of Margaret Thatcher, which covers all the key events and players, and makes for entertaining and informative reading. The years after office receive good coverage, and there is enough information here to make clear the sad decline of her memory and faculties towards the end of her life, particularly after the death of her husband.

Well worth reading whatever your political views - Thatcher bestrode British politics for over a decade, and her policy legacy has lived on through every government since, and is likely to do so for some time yet
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The whole story in one good read 2 May 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As Lady Thatcher's letter on the back cover says - "I can think of no one better placed than you to tackle the subject".

Harris was Director of the Conservative Research Department before joining Mrs Thatcher's personal staff, writing speeches and advising on policy. After she left office he continued working for her, including drafting her two volume autobiography. He was a total insider - he knew her life, her politics and her thoughts as well as anyone who is still around to tell the tale.

Harris can write punchy, readable narrative which tells a good story, as anyone who reads his many newspaper articles can attest.

Harris got his doctorate in French history - you can tell the academic background because the facts look like they have been checked, there is a decent index and by the way he sticks to main subject and doesn't drift off into personal reminiscences or personal point scoring. In passing I notice that he doesn't even mention himself in the index - this is Margaret Thatcher's story all the way through.

Those that loved Margaret Thatcher will find a lot to like with this book. Having her whole life in one moderately sized volume will be a relief to anyone who wants the essence but not the finely wrought detail. Those that did not love Thatcher - and there are plenty of them - may still find it worth reading if they want to understand rather than condemn. After all, the British public voted for her in their millions, voted for her again and again, and they never voted her out of office.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Iron Lady 22 Oct 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
There are academic disputes about the extent to which military success boosted Conservative chances in the 1983 election. There were signs of a revival in the polls and greater economic optimism even before the capture. But what if the Falklands had been lost? Would the government have survived?
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4.0 out of 5 stars Convincing narrative 29 July 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Not having read other biographies about Margaret Thatcher, I enjoyed stepping back to those years when she was PM. The earlier section about her influences and education is convincing. Does she emerge from the pages better understood? Can the reader get a sense of what drove her, her people skills, her political skills? For me the answer is that this book does not have the weight or indeed size, to do more than sketch the background, so there is an incompleteness. But her personality comes through, her considerable charm and presence, her weaknesses, and the account of her life after stepping down from power, provides a fuller sense of her life in its entirety. Where the authors views come through, one senses they are those of a man near the centre of the action.
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33 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars RESPONSE 29 April 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Mr Marsh has not reviewed this book - he has simply produced the usual diatribe against the best Prime Minister since Churchill. Here, briefly, are some inconvenient facts.

1. Manufacturing output rose by 7.5% during her period in office.
2. Public spending rose by 17.6%
3. Harold Wilson's governments closed 251 pits and Maggie's 154. A former miner recently wrote "Scargill wanted me to go back down the b***** pit. Mrs Thatcher gave me £25,000 to buy a house in Spain.
4. Wilson, Callaghan and Heath all wished to reform the unions and all backed off. She succeeded and no subsequent government has had any inclination to put the clock back (for obvious reasons).
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read book 25 July 2013
By Robin
A must-read book for anyone interested in the political history of the Thatcher years because the author was based in No 10 for much of this period, and so can give the 'back-story' to many of the most important events. Harris explains some of the motivations by both Thatcher and her ministers for their policies and indeed their disagreements, much of which was not known. For business men like me whose career she saved, the courage she showed at crucial times to lead her cabinet full of doubters was almost breathtaking. The battles with the unions, the Argentinians, and the nationalised industries are very well explained and even exciting.

For all those who disagreed with her, at least it gives detailed descriptions on her thinking and her beliefs.

The indexing is superb as it allows one to dip in and out by following the people and personalities one is particularly interested in. On the big issue of Europe and currencies, time has shown that she has been right against most of her cabinet and certainly her chancellors' advice. But making unpopular decisions with such a feral press is never easy.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Master Writer at his best.
Very well written by this Brilliant Factual Writer. Robin Harris is a Man who does know what he is talking about. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Anthony Searle
2.0 out of 5 stars Inconsistent and insincere
This is a book that has three distinct and stylistically different parts, which have difficulty merging into one story. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Neil Carmichael
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent & Facinating
This is an excellent book about one of Britain's finest politicians ever. Love her or loath her she pulled us back from the brink in 1979. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Birmingham Nick
5.0 out of 5 stars A woman of Substance

So much has been written about Mrs Thatcher, by she herself and by many friends and foes, but I think a biography has much more authority... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Rikki White
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read
I will fill up the front end with words.Now I can say that I did like the book thank you
Published 12 months ago by Mr. Michael Thorne
4.0 out of 5 stars The Face Behind Thatcherism
I have to admit that at times I was making heavy weather of Robin Harris's biography of Margaret Thatcher : the middle chapters dealing with her premiership; the first part and the... Read more
Published 13 months ago by J. Nichols
5.0 out of 5 stars About Margaret Thacher life
About Margaret Thacher
I think it was a great read . She was a great lady. May she rest in peace
Published 14 months ago by angela kenny angela kenny
5.0 out of 5 stars maggie thatcher book
well researched and gives a rounded view of the former prime minister,the auther was personnelly known to mrs thatcher and this comes across in this book
Published 14 months ago by rose
4.0 out of 5 stars Not for Turning. - Robin Harris
An excellent book, well written, and very informative. I'm enjoying reading it, as I have always been a great fan of Margaret Thatcher, a woman of guts, determination and honesty,... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Mrs. Oriel G. Bayliss
5.0 out of 5 stars superb
A great view of a great lady. Not much new learned for well read devotees but the post Premiership part offers new insight although, alas, is poignant.
Published 14 months ago by Dazzler78
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