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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Will the real Margaret Thatcher ... ?, 4 Jan 2009
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This review is from: Margaret Thatcher: Volume One: The Grocer's Daughter: v. 1 (Paperback)
Mrs Thatcher once told a TV interviewer that one of her girlhood ambitions had been to become an actress. As Campbell shows, there's no evidence to support this claim, although, paradoxically, it may be the best clue we have to understanding the "real" Margaret Thatcher.

Grocer's daughter, schoolgirl, scientist, lawyer, Tory lady, politician, tigress, milk-snatcher, iron lady, housewife-superstar or, as, many Americans thought, "quite a dame". Will the real Margaret Thatcher, please stand up?

Like his subject, Campbell has done his homework and stuck closely to his brief. No stone is left unturned, no claim unquestioned and no fact unverified. The result is a detailed and well-balanced account of Margaret Roberts' journey from the now legendary corner shop in Grantham to steps of Number 10.

The focus is very much on Mrs Thatcher herself. Current events, politicians and family are only mentioned inasmuch as they affect her personal and political development. Whilst this gives the book a strong narrative feel, it assumes some background knowledge of post war Britain. Readers who weren't around at the time or are unfamiliar with that era's politics may find that some of the minor players merge into an amorphous mass of men in grey suits (although, come to think of it ...)

A good solid five-star read.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 23 Apr 2009 22:32:40 BDT
Last edited by the author on 23 Apr 2009 22:39:07 BDT
Your description almost made me choke...Housewife-Superstar? She was many things most of which are unprintable on Amazon. Thatcher had three things in her favour.......She was a woman and scored their vote(thus proving why women shouldn't be allowed to vote), a weak opponent which had fragmented into a Liberal styled alternative and propoganda merchants Saachi and Saachi.
Thatcher had many supporters but an indifference amongst dissatisfied working class gave her an unchallenged path into power and boy did the working class suffer. Her brand of politics accounted for New Labour, and like all things politics evolves yet stays the same. Morals of politicians are few and I for one would not swap places with these charlatans, but Thatcher crushed male dominance....Sadly this has had a negative impact on society though feminists will disagree.
In my view she tried to instill thirties values into seventies and eighties culture..this proved too harsh and divisive. As with Communism the principle may have been well intentioned and a new direction needed but the rest is history. The Iron Lady is reviled by most but she left her mark.

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Apr 2009 21:05:33 BDT
hbw says:
The phrase "housewife-superstar" is tongue-in-cheek (with apologies to Dame Edana). If you've read the book, though, you will know that one of the images used to sell the "Thatcher brand" was the idea that she was "just an ordinary housewife". Clearly, she was never anything of the kind, but during the campaign for the Tory party leadership it had the rather bizarre effect of making William Whitelaw demonstrate his domestic virtues by being photographed doing the washing up in a frilly pinny.

In reply to an earlier post on 1 May 2009 21:29:05 BDT
Ha ha ha...There is a woman called Billie Whitelaw who you have probably heard of and it's paradoxical that old Wille(was he wet..maybe??) doing the dishes heralded a new era of men losing identities and surrendering their postion as head of most households. I haven't read the book as my love of her never materialised.
Thanks for pointing out the ambiguity of the loose term? Dame Edna was much more worthy!:)
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hbw
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Location: uk

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