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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Took away the caricature
Wasn't expecting to be *that* excited by this, after all I lived through the Thatcher years and like many people I have an opinion of her that has been shaped by the sound bites and other people's opinions.

But what I found listening to these recordings, where Mrs Thatcher talks at length and is interviewed, not only on the headline stuff, but on aspects of her...
Published on 3 Feb. 2012 by S. D. Spicer

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3.0 out of 5 stars Lightweight but enjoyable
This is composed of a series of interviews the BBC had with Margaret Thatcher during her time as elected Prime Minister. It is not comprehensive, but as a record of her personal thoughts it is quite remarkable especially as she says in one of the interviews, there won't be a diary!

The interviews are edited down (you hardly hear Wogan on his segment) but you...
Published on 19 Mar. 2012 by Jack Chakotay


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Took away the caricature, 3 Feb. 2012
By 
S. D. Spicer (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Margaret Thatcher (BBC Archive Voices) (Audio CD)
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Wasn't expecting to be *that* excited by this, after all I lived through the Thatcher years and like many people I have an opinion of her that has been shaped by the sound bites and other people's opinions.

But what I found listening to these recordings, where Mrs Thatcher talks at length and is interviewed, not only on the headline stuff, but on aspects of her personal life, is a better understanding of her. She comes across as a real person. Not only the Prime Minister, but a Mum and a wife.

Of course, she is partly to blame for her caricature image, I think she liked the forceful way she came across, the strident schoolmarm - the cover picture on the CD shows that. But the CD reveals another person, someone that I might even begin to like to have a cup of tea with; someone with whom you could converse. In short, having sat and listened to these I felt I had discovered something that perhaps her media image had hidden; and I warmed to it.

I only hope that AudioGo do some more of these - Tony Benn would be equally fascinating.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating insight into a very controversial Prime Minister, 5 Feb. 2012
By 
Paul M "ROYALSFAN" (Reading ,England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Margaret Thatcher (BBC Archive Voices) (Audio CD)
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There are fewer more polarising political figures than Margaret Thatcher, so any attempt to be objective in a review can be difficult when confronting our own attitudes to the Iron Lady.

However, any student of politics and personality may well find this set of revealing interviews fascinating, as Mrs Thatcher discusses her upbringing, her career and interests, occasionally showing a vulnerability that is a little at odds with her image. Still, never one to shy from an opinion these interviews can sometimes throw up some unintentional controversies [ her views on Bethlehem, tourists and French mineral water for instance].The ravages of age and the hardening attitudes that come from experience are very apparant in the later discussions.

However, the most interesting interview for me is the first one with Jimmy Young, where a newly elected political leader talks about her hopes,background and developing attitudes without the corrupting influence of power and responsibility. The benefits of hindsight show how things eventually worked out, but the inexperience and idealism of Mrs Thatcher in the early weeks of her political leadership are genuinely fascinating. However, the chilling interview about the Falklands on Wogan also makes for interesting listening

These interviews do a fine job in showing a human side to Margaret Thatcher, but where that humanity ultimately was directed will necessarily be in the mind and attitude of the listener.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Revisits Thatcher the person, rather than the era, 25 Jan. 2012
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R. WEST-SOLEY "Rich West-Soley" (Birmingham, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Margaret Thatcher (BBC Archive Voices) (Audio CD)
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A timely release, with renewed interest in Thatcher following the cinema success of Iron Lady. It's a fascinating set of recordings, with great quality audio considering that some of the earliest were recorded nearly 40 years ago. Inevitably with just two CDs, there is little room to include all aspects of her life and leadership during such a broad period of time, and so the focus is very much on the personal - her attitudes, values and feelings, and even personal likes and dislikes. As such it's a portrait of the woman rather than a look at her governance and policies. This in itself is captivating enough, and re-humanises a woman who is thought of more as an era rather than a person. The interviews (even including an appearance on 'Wogan'!) are well chosen to give a broad flavour of her personality, and there are some rare glimpses into the human being behind the brash, controversial, political projection of Thatcher.

From whichever side of the fence you are listening (and I approached the CD as anything but a natural supporter of Thatcher's!), it's a deeply interesting collection of broadcasting and political history.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Insights into a time of great change., 22 Mar. 2012
By 
AlanMusicMan (North Cornwall) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Margaret Thatcher (BBC Archive Voices) (Audio CD)
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The 1980s was a crucible of change. Britain changed more than most countries, and at the epicentre of that change sat Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. A controversial figure who is hated and lionised in equal measure. Many who worked closely with her admired her forthrightness and non-nonsense approach to politics and power. However, others who worked equally closely ended up not being able to stand her at any price.

It's easy for the intensity of Thatcher's early years to be forgotten. Like all political careers (according to Enoch Powell anyway) hers ended in failure and rejection, she was voted out by her own party. But when she was "the New" - whilst her particular brand of capitalism was changing the root and branch nature of Great Britain and its industry, those were intense times - an intensity that burned many who tried to stand in its way.

As always, the archive holds the most vivid artefacts of the era. The passion, the fire, the determination, the anger, the resolve, the disagreements, the words of battle, the condemnation and the happy moments. They're all here: In interviews and speeches and semi-informal conversations, this is Margaret Thatcher. A Prime Minister unlike any other in our history, divisive and inspirational - bringing about profound change that would change our nation's trajectory forever, reshaping society and repositioning its dividing lines in a way that is still vividly evident today.

A fascinating reminder if you lived through it all, a vivid lesson in modern history if you didn't.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An interesting look at the person, not the politics, 28 Jan. 2012
By 
D. Richards (South Wales, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Margaret Thatcher (BBC Archive Voices) (Audio CD)
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I didn't know what to expect when I got this cd, but I'm pleased to say I've been very, very impressed.

Firstly the product itself. The quality of sound on the recardings themselves are excellent - very crisp, and very clear and it sounds as though the interview is taking place "in real time". There is no drop in sound qaulity at all from the time of the original interview. Also,each interview / certain part of a specific interview can be "skipped" to meaning you dont have to listen to the whole interview to get to the parts you want to listen to. The sleeve that accompanies the discs themselves though are is bit of a disappointment. You get 1 piece of paper which lists the interviews and that's it. There's No "chapter/track" guides - so you don't know what Track 5,6,7 etc is about until you listen to it. This is something the BBC needs to improve on in future releases.

As for the content, the interviews take place between 1975 and 1990 from both radio and TV and focus mostly on Thacher the person, rather than Thatcher the politician - which is both a positive and a negative depending on what your looking for from this set. There are times when She does touch upon political events, but thre is no real focus to them nor analysis, and they are only mentioned in the context of her personal life. As a result of this, I would say this set will please people looking to find out more about Thatcher the person than anything else.

The whole list of interviews on this set are:

Disc 1
*Jimmy Young, BBC Radio 2, 19th Feb 1975
*Pete Murray's late show, BBC Radio 2, 7th March 1982
*Interview for Central Office of Information, 13th December 1985

Disc 2
*Favourte Things, BBC 1, 26th July 1987
*Wogan, BBC 1, 12th January 1990
*Woman's Hour, BBC Radio 4, 17th May 1990

Overall, I found this set to be very enjoyable and it provides a very interesting insight to the Person who ran out country from 1979 to 1990
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A little look into the real Margaret Thatcher, 17 Mar. 2012
By 
Rendition (Brighton, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Margaret Thatcher (BBC Archive Voices) (Audio CD)
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Much has been written, said, screamed, lauded and hated about arguably one of our most controversial British politicians of the 20th century.

The very first interview takes place a few days after her selection as Conservative leader. Her voice is much softer, and amusingly she speaks about herself in the 3rd person. Obviously this is pointed out at some stage and she switches back to the fist person quite quickly. Although this sounds pompous today, speaking as "we" instead of "I" was common as politicians were not very used to using (or being used) by the media in the 70s.

The other thing that struck me in the early years - even after she became PM was the honesty with which she spoke. Her convictions, whether you shared them or not, were deep and honest, unlike our modern variety. She answers the questions to the best of her ability instead of fudging or side-stepping. It makes you think of how much modern politicians no longer wish to say or tell us.

Another, perhaps surprising feature of these interviews is to show how deeply she cared. Whereas most union bosses and subsequent Labour activists have painted her as he devil incarnate, these interviews show how far from the truth that is and it is probably time to redress the balance somewhat.

These recordings are a timely reminder that one should always make ones own mind up and resist the temptation to take the simple-minded media-forged road of complacent acceptance.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing. The woman behind the politics., 1 Mar. 2012
By 
Prof TBun (Birmingham UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Margaret Thatcher (BBC Archive Voices) (Audio CD)
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You might think it is impossible to seperate Margaret Thatcher the person from Margaret Thatcher the politician, but you would be quite wrong.

These honest interviews successfully show Thatcher's human side. There is no denying her passion, sincerity and integruity. Love her or hate her, she has powered through life with remarkable energy.

What I found most striking was Thatcher's sense of humour. This is something I don't ever remember experiencing during her term of office. I am sure her legacy would be seen quite differently had she revealed it more to the public.

Questions are left unanswered about the negative consequences of some her political policies. I would have liked like to here an answer as to how she felt about what has become long term mass unemployment. At the time her party described unemployment as "A price worth paying", for the neccessary restructuring of British industry. However leaving entire communities without any fresh opportunities to work or the means to relocate where there was job prospects, was my biggest disappointment with her. I would like to know what her vision for these communities was and if she just ploughed ahead without one, wether she had any regrets.

Overall I enjoyed the interviews and they adde a lot to my knowledge of the great Lady. The lack of balance though, prevents me from giving this collection 5 stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The human side of Margaret Thatcher, 8 Mar. 2012
By 
J. S. Hardman "Consultant software developer ... (Near London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Margaret Thatcher (BBC Archive Voices) (Audio CD)
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"Margaret Thatcher Interviews 1975-1990" turned out to be an interesting pair of audio CDs. Interesting, in that the interviews chosen bring out the human side of Margaret Thatcher. If you're expecting interviewers probing into policies and trying to grill the former Prime Minister, then this is not for you. None of that combative stuff that people tend to remember from that era. These interviews are more fluffy, the Jimmy Young, Terry Wogan, Russell Harty type of interviews. That's not to say they are uninteresting. Quite the opposite - they demonstrate her human side, and also give the listener an idea of how she changed over that 15-16 year period.

There are also odd details in there that I hadn't heard before, such as a visit from Harold Macmillan just before British forces landed on the Falklands, to give her the benefit of advice from the then living ex-Prime Ministers. However, those details are few and far between.

Margaret Thatcher is somebody who polarised (and still polarises) opinion. Whether this set of CDs will mellow the attitudes of those who spit venom when talking of her is a good question. However, for those willing to consider the person beneath the caricature, this is an interesting listen.

Easy listening, intriguing, interesting but undemanding. Recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nostalgic but scary, 15 Mar. 2012
By 
Pepper (Uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Margaret Thatcher (BBC Archive Voices) (Audio CD)
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This CD set takes you back to an era that seemed cold and uncaring - the scary part about it is that in many ways it reflects contemporary times. It begs one question do we need the resolve of MT to see us through the difficult times we currently are in? This CD gives one a glimpse of what is behind the popular image of the "Iron Lady" and as well as being an excellent way of recounting the history and key players of the 1980s. In summary, worthwhile as an investment for both the bibliographic aspect of MT and the broader history of the period. Recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended for anyone interested in social history, 18 Mar. 2012
By 
D. Pearce "djarmhp" (rainham, kent) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Margaret Thatcher (BBC Archive Voices) (Audio CD)
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I put these two CDs on thinking that there wasn't much to learn about the Iron Lady but interested in the voice of the most influential politician since Churchill. Having listened to them I can only say I was wrong! These fascinating interviews put a number of myths to the test.
She hated sport so she allowed schools to sell off the playing fields. Wrong! She was a keen hockey and tennis player in her youth who regularly watched cricket and football. She was married to a man who was under her thumb. Wrong again! It's quite clear that she not only doted on Dennis, but that he was not backwards in coming forwards if he disagreed with her. I could go on, but even haters are likely to find much of interest.
Two more observations must be made, however. The relative approachability of her persona in the first interview in 1975 is gradually replaced until the familiar stridency is in evidence all too clearly in 1990. Second, Jimmy Young was an incredibly clever interviewer who could catch politicians off their guard with his deceptively easy style and elicit insights that the rude and hectoring Robin Day types could only dream of.
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