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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Ringside View
After the recent biography by Charles Moore (vol 1)one might wonder what is the point of another book about Margaret Thatcher, especially so soon. In fact Jonathan Aiken demonstrates in his latest book there is a point.
His book is a far more personal account of Margaret Thatcher. The reader is given a ring-side seat to view her strengths and weaknesses...
Published 10 months ago by Dr Barry Clayton

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1.0 out of 5 stars Riveting.
I have long been an admirer of Margaret Thatcher and when I read a review of the book I decided to purchase a copy. I was not disappointed for it was riveting.
Published 3 months ago by L. Pattison


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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Ringside View, 25 Oct 2013
By 
Dr Barry Clayton (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
After the recent biography by Charles Moore (vol 1)one might wonder what is the point of another book about Margaret Thatcher, especially so soon. In fact Jonathan Aiken demonstrates in his latest book there is a point.
His book is a far more personal account of Margaret Thatcher. The reader is given a ring-side seat to view her strengths and weaknesses.

Aitken's key aim is to describe what she was like as a person and prime minister, especially what she was trying to do and why, and to assess the consequences. He was a member of her cabinet and for a while very close to the Thatcher family-for 3 years he dated Caroline Thatcher before he ended the relationship. His political career ended when he was jailed for perjury (he has written two splendid books about his time in prison).

In this account Aitken describes warts and all the deceased character. She could be charming, kind yet rude, abrasive and cold. he argues, as have others, that her achievements were major, the Falklands, ending the miners strike, and getting President Reagan and Gorbachev to meet and talk.

He is very critical of Howe and Heseltine for their attack on Thatcher which eventually led to her downfall. He quotes her press secretary as saying:'probably the most tactless woman I have ever met in my life'. Aitken says she was never a fan of cabinet government (neither was Blair or Brown), 'consensus had no appeal for her'. At one cabinet meeting she told Howe (foreign secretary) 'your paper is twaddle. complete and utter twaddle'. Understandably, such outbursts in front of other ministers, no matter how accurate, caused dismay and anger. After her retirement from politics she lambasted Howe and co as traitors. Even her chosen successor, John Major, did not escape her sharp tongue.

Aiken says she was a towering figure that polarised, and still does,public opinion. Like other recent accounts (Moore, and Harris) he believes she changed the course of politics and government in her country for at least a generation. A Britain that was in decline rejoined the ranks of powers with influence in the international arena. She boosted the economy, restored our military credibility, and reinvigorated our diplomatic authority. She, he argues, gave this country pride and purpose again.

Aiken says she often said she made up her mind about people within 30 seconds, and '99 times out of a 100 I am right'. Her father told her never to go with the crowd. Never, never. She said she always followed that advice in politics.
Aitken tells us about her upbringing, the great influence of her father, the strained relationship with her mother, her unhappy time at school and, for a time, at university. She never seems to have had any fun as an adolescent. Her first steps in politics is described, her very happy marriage, her children, time in opposition, then as secretary of state for education, and then winning the leadership and becoming the occupant of No 10.

This 700 page book is an honest account, warts and all, of a very remarkable politician. It is balanced and fair. It is a shame that her opponents are still for ideological reasons unable to adopt the same objective stance.

As a true insight into Margaret Thatcher this book is unlikely to be bettered.
Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, 27 Nov 2013
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I find Jonathan Aitken a splendid writer. Clear flowing prose. Very well referenced. His 'Reflection' at end of each chapter much appreciated.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An entertaining account of a towering StateWoman, 24 Jun 2014
I chose to read this biography as it encapsulates the whole life of Margaret Thatcher in one book. Its author, Jonathan Aitken has known Margareth Thatcher and her family quite intimately. In particular, he dated her daughter Carol Thatcher. He has been as well a Conservative Member of Parliament in the United Kingdom for 24 years, and a former British government Cabinet minister.

The book is easy to read and very entertaining. You feel you are in the room, witnessing Margaret Thatcher's decision making process. There are also emotional moments when you feel in awe for her courage and steadfast determination.

I particularly enjoyed two specific features of the book. Each chapter terminates with a reflection where the author provides his personal insights on the events described in the chapter or one traits of Margaret thatcher's personality. The author has made over 90 interviews and he intersperses the narration with quotes from close acquaintances. Those quotes provide an insightful perspective on Margaret thatcher's personality.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Riveting., 12 May 2014
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L. Pattison (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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I have long been an admirer of Margaret Thatcher and when I read a review of the book I decided to purchase a copy. I was not disappointed for it was riveting.
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4.0 out of 5 stars interesting history of an important figure in our history, 1 May 2014
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Jonathan Aitken wrote a good biography of Margaret thatcher. It was not a difficult book to read and he made many notes on the family which helped to make it enjoyable for me. It was not bogged down with names and places and too much politics.
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5.0 out of 5 stars biography Mrs Thatcher, 14 April 2014
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Most dis[passionate and insightful biography that I have read.It is unlike some biographies an easy read.The book itself is in excellent condition.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Margaret Thatcher. Power and Personality by Jonathan Aitkin, 31 Dec 2013
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I have not finished the book yet but as a long time admirer of Thatcher and being born and bred in Lincolnshire I am finding it a very good read and it tells the story of Margaret, "warts and all"
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Husbands birthday present., 2 Dec 2013
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Bought this for my husband's birthday. He is enjoying reading it. He is a great fan of Jonathan Aitkens writing.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it..., 22 Nov 2013
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My wife's view, as this book was for her. She loves it!

As for my personal views on Queen Margaret, they are definitely not printable. ;-)
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Margaret Thatcher: Power and Personality, 14 Nov 2013
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It's basically well written and informative. There are flashes of brilliant writing. However, as it develops, the script becomes repetitive. The author repeats many set phrases and descriptions of events that become quite unnecessary; it reads like there's been a lot of copying and pasting instead of cutting - never mind the pasting. More robust editing would make this an even better book to read. Disappointing on that basis.
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Margaret Thatcher: Power and Personality
Margaret Thatcher: Power and Personality by Jonathan Aitken (Paperback - 10 April 2014)
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