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Upwardly Mobile - Norman Tebbit - An autobiography Hardcover – 10 Oct 1988

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson; First Edition edition (10 Oct. 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0297794272
  • ISBN-13: 978-0297794271
  • Product Dimensions: 23.8 x 16.2 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 342,102 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Upwardly Mobile : An Autobiography, norman tebbitt

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Magic Lemur VINE VOICE on 8 Jan. 2011
Format: Paperback
I read an article by Norman Tebbit recently which seemed to consist of him glorifying his work at the department of Employment & calling the Trade Union legislation of the 1980's 'the Thatcher-Tebbit Union reforms'. Admittedly Tebbit played a big role in taming the unions & was a key part in their downfall. However, since losing power he seems to have become more backward looking & less in contact with the popular mood.

The glorious thing about this book is that it was written only 2 years after he had left office in 1987 & so retains a great deal of his good sense without the self-glory of later years. It is also a document of its time, with the Labour party still in disarray & Britain still enjoying the boom of the Thatcher years.

Starting off in his early years in North London (Ponden End to be exact), there is surprisingly little mention of his father, or of his biking around for work. The story then proceeds through his years as a journalist & with BOAC, which prove surprisingly insightful as to the state of the airlines pre-privatisation.

The really interesting material comes from Chapter 4 onwards, where Tebbit moves into politics. As someone interested in the workings of parliament & politics generally, I found the material about back-bench tactics (e.g. keeping a minister up late & asking the same question over & over) very interesting indeed.
It was also a first hand account of all that was wrong in the 1970's with both Ted Heath (Chapter 6) & Labour (Chapter 7), before moving on to Thatcher's extraordinary victory in 1979 & his time in the Cabinet.

In a similar way to
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By T. T. Rogers on 22 Jan. 2013
Format: Paperback
Among all the political autobiographies and memoirs that emerged out of the Thatcher era, Norman Tebbit's 'Upwardly Mobile' is perhaps the most underrated. This is an informative and entertaining autobiography in which Tebbit pens his life and politics engagingly. It is worth the while for political junkies. Tebbit was a loyal Thatcherite - and very much a working-class thatcherite and social climber - earning the respect of Margaret Thatcher and his other colleagues and embodying the thatcherite spirit of upward mobility and meritocracy.

In one sense, the book charts a personal evolution for Tebbit, from the "semi-house trained polecat" (Michael Foot's description of him, Hansard: 2 March 1978) who was known for barracking the Callaghan government and Labour from the Opposition Tory benches in the late 1970s; to the austere, loyal, Puritan thatcherite ideologue of the 1980s; to the more mature figure of his autumn, almost grandfatherly, if still immoderate at times in the eyes of the mainstream media. Perhaps one influence in that 'mellowing' process was the tragedy that struck him and his wife in the cruel IRA bomb attack on the Brighton Hotel in 1984. Tebbit's account of that terrible event is quiet and affecting.

Unusually, Tebbit is able to confirm there was no left-wing phase in his youth: he joined the Young Conservatives at 15. He was always of the Right, and a little like John Major he began to move in influential political circles within the voluntary wing of the Tory party from a very early age. He became a (reluctant) Butskellite like most mainstream Tories of his time, but he fell comfortably into the New Right philosophy that took hold of the Conservatives in the 1970s.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By David G. Meacock on 30 Dec. 2003
Format: Hardcover
This book presents its facts in the straightforward lucid style, for which Norman Tebbit (now Lord Tebbit) is renowned. It is no wonder that Margaret Thatcher (now Lady Thatcher) regarded him as the Government's best communicator.
In telling Norman Tebbit's life history, the book provides a fascinating insight into the sympathetic more human side of him, which was and still tends to be generally overshadowed by his ability to engage in toe to toe arguments with his opponents - which invariably always ended with them being cut up into little pieces.
The book spans all emotions and is thus both a moving and a gripping read. The Brighton bomb and its tragic consequences would be more than a challenge for most - especially in the full glare of the public - to put it mildly, but to see the way he coped with so many others too is not only truely inspirational, but must surely command the deepest of respect from both political friends and foes alike.
Few can claim to have founded a commonly used English phrase - On yer bike - and that in itself is a measure, even if a somewhat superficial measure, of his stature.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Taglet on 14 Jan. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book for my husband who is enjoying it immensely. He has always admired Norman Tebbitt and agrees wholly with his political views. Great book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lindsey Clare Gee-Turner on 3 May 2015
Format: Paperback
Well can't some people give you a surprise or shock! I didn't know he'd been an airline pilot. A bit tedious.
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