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The Iron Lady: Margaret Thatcher: From Grocer's Daughter to Iron Lady [Kindle Edition]

John Campbell
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

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Book Description

In this abridged edition of John Campbell's two acclaimed volumes on Margaret Thatcher, we trace the life of Britain's only female Prime Minister, from her upbringing in Grantham to her unexpected challenge for leadership of the Conservative party to her eleven tumultuous years in Downing Street and her eventual removal from power.

This is an extraordinary account of an extraordinary individual who changed the face of Britain; John Campbell portrays an ambitious and determined woman who started cautiously, grew in confidence after the Falklands War but became increasingly remote and domineering until she finally lost the trust of her colleagues.

Product Description


"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" (Sunday Express)

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

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


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

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2131 KB
  • Print Length: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Digital (5 Jan. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #183,936 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly informative 15 Sept. 2009
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
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb biography of 'the Iron Lady' 17 May 2009
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Thatcherism personified! 19 Sept. 2010
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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4.0 out of 5 stars Vindicated my negative view of the Iron Lady 26 Jan. 2015
I read the two-volume version of John Campbell's biography because I wanted to find out if Margaret Thatcher was really as loathsome as I had always thought, or if I'd been unfair to her. It was tough-going - it's not easy to persist with a long biography of someone you dislike, especially if you're visually impaired - but at the end of it I felt vindicated. Campbell was judicious and magisterial, detailing her strengths and weaknesses with thorough and accurate referencing; but the book only served to convince me that this was a deeply malevolent woman, motivated by vindictive self-interest, and actually, not very intelligent. Even the two things she did of which I approve - retaining the Open University and speaking out about the carnage in Bosnia - were done outside of her Premiership, and were typically self-serving. I admit it's impossible for me to be balanced about this dreadful human being, so I'm glad John Campbell did it for me - and helped me realize why I dislike her so much.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Well written Thatcher bio 14 Dec. 2014
By Amazon Customer TOP 500 REVIEWER
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars THE ENEMY WITHIN 23 Sept. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

'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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A good description of how she got where she did
Very interesting, balanced and informative. A good description of how she got where she did, how precarious her position was initially and how she dismissed those who crossed her... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Sandhamsman
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Interesting if in places quote boring
Published 3 months ago by sooty14
5.0 out of 5 stars A Woman with Balls
Kick 'em where it hurts Maggie!! RIP
Published 4 months ago by Randy Reviewer
4.0 out of 5 stars a great read
I found the book a good down to earth account. though did not neccessarily agree with all of Mr Campbell's descriptions
Published 11 months ago by David Leigh-Howarth
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, balanced account
As a fan of thatcherism, but not in denial of the social costs and controversy of her reign, I enjoyed this book. Read more
Published 15 months ago by J. Stoyle
4.0 out of 5 stars The lady may not be for turning but the pages certainly...
This book does its best to maintain a neutral view, which is the reason I bought it. A must read for those of us who were too young to understand the horrors of Thatcher's... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Stephen Chapman
3.0 out of 5 stars Clear Bias
Although well written and containing most of the facts there is a clear and persistent tone of anti-Thatcher bias to this account. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Mark O'Brien
5.0 out of 5 stars The Iron Lady
There's so much to learn from this Lady, also one must rmember she changed attitudes to women's rights which opened many doors to us women, when it had been originally a masculine... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Anna Parkinson
5.0 out of 5 stars very factual
my daughter wanted this book and she found it very interesting , as being a much younger member of the family she found the fact, dates and times of events about Margaret... Read more
Published 21 months ago by buyright,.
5.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing
Another well written easy to read book about Mrs Thatcher and an insight into her early life. It was intriguing to see she was a grocer's daughter like me ! Read more
Published 21 months ago by Mari Harrison
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