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The Downing Street Years,
This review is from: The Downing Street Years (Paperback)At long last Margaret Thatchers first memoirs from the early 90's have been reissued while no doubt in an effort to cash in on the current hysteria surrounding the film at least this particular release will give you a more in depth and comprehensive insight into this countries most divisive yet influential leader.
The book opens on her becoming PM up till her final day which is an 11 year period therefore it will be no surprise given the complexity of the 1980's and the challenges Britain faced and Margaret Thatchers apparent attention to detail that the book is a fairly large in size. Frankly of all the political books I have read it is one of the hardest to take in everything you are reading as I said before it was a very complex period in British politics which to fully understand will require more reading than this book alone and obviously from less bias sources. That said of course as with any political biography there is a sense of self justification however it is rivalled by Thatchers ability to argue every point to the death in a lot of detail (sometimes probably too much detail) and her frank views of those that opposed her both from opposition and within her own party.
She does not shy away from any of the key issues here from all of the Domestic Issues Britain faced, Relations with the US and Soviet Union, The Falklands and of course Europe. Many chapters are dominated by relations abroad primarily her ongoing saga with the French & Germans in which interestingly she states a united Germany along with France would try to dominate a European Union probably at the time this would seem a little extreme however now in 2012 its all feeling a little familiar and I dare say her opinion has almost been vindicated some 23 years later. However what did strike me the most was how this ultimately sheds light on the lasting impact this era had on the Conservative Party which frankly has never been the same since, it is still to this day divided on Europe and policy.
The point is wether you are a Thatcherite or someone on the fence or on the other side of the fence and loathe her there is absolute no doubt that her clarity, passion for this country and ability to push on in the face of adversity without turning is dearly missed within todays political landscape.