Margaret Thatcher: The Authorized Biography, Volume One: Not For Turning Paperback – 3 Apr 2014
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Moore has produced a biography so masterly ... that it comes as close as biography can come to being a work of art (Craig Brown Mail on Sunday)
Moore's great gift is his ability to make Thatcher's story fresh again, and above all to remind us of how odd she was ... the access to her family and friends enabled Moore to produce a multifaceted picture of a compelling life ... [this] will now become the definitive account (Anne Applebaum Daily Telegraph)
Intricate, elegant and laced with dry humour (Andrew Rawnsley Observer)
Outstandingly good (A.N. Wilson Evening Standard)
About the Author
Charles Moore joined the staff of the Daily Telegraph in 1979, and as a political columnist in the 1980s covered several years of Mrs Thatcher's first and second governments. He was Editor of the Spectator 1984-90; Editor of the Sunday Telegraph 1992-95; and Editor of the Daily Telegraph 1995-2003, for which he is still a regular columnist. The first volume of his biography of Margaret Thatcher, published in 2013, won the Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Biography, the HW Fisher Best First Biography Prize and Political Book of the Year at the Paddy Power Political Book Awards.
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Top Customer Reviews
I was hopeful of a good biography, but was conscious that Mr. Moore hadn't written a book before. It is to the credit of Margaret Thatcher and those around her that Charles Moore was chosen for this task and given such freedom (to a degree that is highly unusual in an authorised biography). Yes, he's clearly an admirer of Mrs. Thatcher. However, he brings his trademark independence of mind to the role. Once one accepts the glaring and inevitable Conservative political bias (with a big gulp, in my case), one finds his judgements invariably both thoughtful and thought-provoking. We get a wealth of detail that both humanises and deepens his subject, but he doesn't shy away from less positive aspects of Margaret Thatcher's character and actions. There is also an admirable humility in his tendency to leave the reader to make up their own mind about so much of what he reveals. This occasionally applies even when those revelations are jaw-dropping.
The diligence in research is impressive. There are some elements of luck, such as the treasure-trove of letters from Margaret Thatcher to her older sister. However, often one makes one's luck through persistence and hard work. The writing is rarely as good as Mr. Moore's journalism, but that's understandable given that he's writing in a (for him) new and more tightly-constrained format. The occasional infelicity, repetition and typo doesn't detract from a fluid and engaging narrative.Read more ›
1. It is extremely well written and never less than interesting.
2. It provides the context for the events in which decisions are made, but concisely.
3. It provides original material in the form of Mrs T's comments on various documents relating to important political decisions, which in themselves tell us a lot about her and her style of managing and controlling - indirectly and critically, mainly negative and often rude.
4. It includes comments from former ministers, political advisers and civil servant, some from written sources and some from interviews all pulled together in relation to events.
5. It is balanced. It gives credit to others for aspects of Thatcherite policy, in particular Geoffrey Howe. If you did not like Mrs T before - hectoring, arrogant, know-it-all - you will not change your views. If you liked her determination and stubbornness and grasp of the demotic, you will not change your view.
Personally, I did not like her hectoring and bullying style. But I found the way Moore wove together the material - her views, others views and facts - masterful.
Moore's writing style is relaxed and yet comprehensive in its scholarship. The volume of background material referenced by footnotes is enormous. Scene setting required for an understanding of how the Thatcher approach developed and was implemented on the back of her opponents disorder in 1979 is deftly done. Moore does not shy away from the fact that Mrs Thatcher was extremely fortunate both to get away with errors of policy in 1980/81 and to have such weak opposition both within her own party and in the Labour opposition of the era.
Critical accolades for the book are well-deserved. Anyone with even a passing interest in Britain in the postwar era should read this book.
Although no detail has been left out he has an excellent style that makes for easy reading
There are no other books that give so detailed account of how the UK reached its economic low point in 1979 and how Margaret Thatcher prepared to turn round the country's economic fortunes albeit without much strategy or coherent planning. She relied .more on conviction than intellectual analysis.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a fantastic bit of research into ‘Thatcheriana’ – sadly, it is not a great read.
If you want an informative read, then read her own autobiography. Read more
Again, bought this for my husband he's finished and enjoyed it.Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
I don't enjoy biographies and I'm not particularly interested in British politics but this book is both beautifully written and tells a fascinating story. Read morePublished 4 months ago by R. Phillips
This book was an interesting read and gave an opportunity to reflect on the Thatcher years.Published 6 months ago by Dales Dweller
A lot of brilliant reading and detail about a brilliant PMPublished 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
Charles Moore is brilliant and really made his subject come to life. I am now about to undertake volume 2.Published 6 months ago by Howard Wilson
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