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Margaret Thatcher: The Authorized Biography, Volume One: Not For Turning Hardcover – 23 April 2013
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- Hardcover : 896 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0713992824
- ISBN-13 : 978-0713992823
- Product Dimensions : 15.82 x 5.54 x 23.98 cm
- Publisher : Allen Lane; First Edition (23 April 2013)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: 48,219 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer reviews:
Sixteen years ago, Mrs Thatcher picked Moore to write her authorised biography, not to be published until after her death. When his appointment was announced, her supporters cheered, and her opponents groaned: Moore was, they both felt, strongly Thatcherite, and would surely give her the easiest of rides. Both sides have grossly underestimated him. With this first volume ... Moore has produced a biography so masterly - so packed with fascinating detail, with such a strong narrative drive, propelled by a central character who is at the same time both very bizarre and very conventional - that it comes as close as biography can come to being a work of art ... One of the many strengths of his book is that it never loses sight of just how unusual she was, in terms of both her personal psychology and her place in public life ... This book is a triumph of diligence. Moore interviewed 315 people, and was clearly blessed with the knack of getting them to open up. Ribald insults, gossip, political secrets, private grievances and funny stories - many of them very, very funny - fly off every page. But it is also a triumph of narrative art and human understanding, at its centre a peculiar force of nature, never to be repeated. 'People are fascinated, appalled, delighted by her,' writes Moore. 'Many think she saved Britain, many that she destroyed it.' I would be surprised if they don't all agree, though, that this is one of the greatest political biographies ever written -- Craig Brown, Mail on Sunday
He mines his sources skilfully without becoming their captive. His prose is more considered and his conclusions more nuanced than his ... journalism. He is not afraid to address the contradictions and tease out the inconsistences of his subject. Nor to be critical, sometimes deeply so. The result is to paint a much more multidimensional portrait of Thatcher than the caricature heroine adored by the right or the devil incarnate loathed by the left ... The prose is intricate, elegant and laced with dry humour ... This biography ... immensely adds to our knowledge and understanding of the longest-reigning prime minister of the democratic age -- Observer, Andrew Rawnsley
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Moore's devotion (and perhaps obligation) to tell Thatcher's side of the story also means he rarely reflects on the opposition to her. And yet, the loud, if not large, opposition to her was one of the biggest features of 1980s Britain. Overall, this is a fair and detailed effort, but I would have preferred a 450 page book not 658 pages.
I'm already looking forward to Volume 2 although I really wish she had retired after 10 years, and wasn't dumped by her own party.
nevertheless she has shown that a woman can make it to the top and make a difference - but they have to be better than the men, and she was.