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

John Campbell
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
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Book Description

5 Jan 2012

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.

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The Iron Lady: Margaret Thatcher: From Grocer's Daughter to Iron Lady + The Downing Street Years + The Path to Power
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Product details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (5 Jan 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099575167
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099575160
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 20 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 102,384 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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"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" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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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47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly informative 15 Sep 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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24 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thatcherism personified! 19 Sep 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars THE ENEMY WITHIN 23 Sep 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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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a great read 5 April 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I found the book a good down to earth account. though did not neccessarily agree with all of Mr Campbell's descriptions
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, balanced account 11 Dec 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As a fan of thatcherism, but not in denial of the social costs and controversy of her reign, I enjoyed this book. Balanced and genuinely fair, it gives a critical appraisal and puts facts to several myths that leave the reader well informed.

Would have liked more on the miners strikes and more discussion on the sexism thatcher suffered, but still very good
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
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 11 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 11 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 14 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 14 months ago by Amazon Customer
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 15 months ago by Mari Harrison
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book
A fantastic book.and.a fantastic lady. Well worth a read. Maggie has always.been my idol all of the reasons for this.
Published 16 months ago by Jamie O'Connell
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good
Bought this book for my girlfriend, shes an avid admirer or Marg and has told me that this book is the best shes read in regards to other material she has had so I guess Id... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Paul Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
This is a really good book about Margaret Thatcher. She was great. They called her the Iron Lady even though she wasnt really made out of iron. Read more
Published on 19 Feb 2010 by Branks
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