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on 3 April 2013
This BBC audio book is a compilation of interview material recorded with Margaret Thatcher. The interview clips are taken from various BBC radio and television programmes recorded between 1975, the year when she was elected leader of the Conservative Party, and 1990, the year when she resigned as prime minister.

The interviews featured on this compact disc tend to be drawn mainly from entertainment shows rather than current affairs programmes. For example, we have a long extract from an appearance by Mrs Thatcher on Jimmy Young's BBC Radio 2 show in 1975, shortly after her election as Tory party leader, and a clip from Terry Wogan's BBC1 chat show recorded in January 1990. Consequently Mrs Thatcher rarely has to face any tough questioning in these interviews, although towards the end of the second disc there is an interesting extract from the BBC Radio 4 show, 'Woman's Hour', in which Margaret Thatcher has to field some hostile questions about the inadequate provision of childcare for working women, and the lack of women in her cabinet.

We get a lot of information about Mrs Thatcher's life style choices. So, we hear that she enjoyed reading Frederick Forsyth's novels, and that she liked watching 'The Two Ronnies' on TV. Sometimes, however, serious political matters do feature in these archive clips. For example, there is an interesting interview in which she talks at some length about her relationship with the Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, ("a man I can do business with"), and the Falklands War of 1982 is discussed in some detail.

This is an interesting audio portrait of a remarkable woman. Margaret Thatcher was a lady who inspired both devoted loyalty and seething hatred in about equal measures. However, whether you were one of her admirers or one of her enemies, you could never ignore the woman. This audio book provides an intriguing, and at times quite insightful, look at the lady behind the legend.
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on 5 August 2014
Entertaining, and a few good insights. Nothing too challenging or too polital about any of the questioning - much more on a personal level.
Still great to have in your car for when you give some 'lefty' a lift though. All these years on they still hate her with a passion, even though they cant come up with a good 'fact based' reason why!
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 3 February 2012
Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Wasn't expecting to be *that* excited by this, after all I lived through the Thatcher years and like many people I have an opinion of her that has been shaped by the sound bites and other people's opinions.

But what I found listening to these recordings, where Mrs Thatcher talks at length and is interviewed, not only on the headline stuff, but on aspects of her personal life, is a better understanding of her. She comes across as a real person. Not only the Prime Minister, but a Mum and a wife.

Of course, she is partly to blame for her caricature image, I think she liked the forceful way she came across, the strident schoolmarm - the cover picture on the CD shows that. But the CD reveals another person, someone that I might even begin to like to have a cup of tea with; someone with whom you could converse. In short, having sat and listened to these I felt I had discovered something that perhaps her media image had hidden; and I warmed to it.

I only hope that AudioGo do some more of these - Tony Benn would be equally fascinating.
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VINE VOICEon 22 March 2012
Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The 1980s was a crucible of change. Britain changed more than most countries, and at the epicentre of that change sat Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. A controversial figure who is hated and lionised in equal measure. Many who worked closely with her admired her forthrightness and non-nonsense approach to politics and power. However, others who worked equally closely ended up not being able to stand her at any price.

It's easy for the intensity of Thatcher's early years to be forgotten. Like all political careers (according to Enoch Powell anyway) hers ended in failure and rejection, she was voted out by her own party. But when she was "the New" - whilst her particular brand of capitalism was changing the root and branch nature of Great Britain and its industry, those were intense times - an intensity that burned many who tried to stand in its way.

As always, the archive holds the most vivid artefacts of the era. The passion, the fire, the determination, the anger, the resolve, the disagreements, the words of battle, the condemnation and the happy moments. They're all here: In interviews and speeches and semi-informal conversations, this is Margaret Thatcher. A Prime Minister unlike any other in our history, divisive and inspirational - bringing about profound change that would change our nation's trajectory forever, reshaping society and repositioning its dividing lines in a way that is still vividly evident today.

A fascinating reminder if you lived through it all, a vivid lesson in modern history if you didn't.
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VINE VOICEon 28 March 2013
Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I am not a fan of Thatcher's politics. Despite being too young to remember much of her period in office, I and future generations have suffered the effects. My personal memories of Thatcher are of her old, humbled and being replaced as leader of the Conservatives. I remember her cigar-smoking trouser-wearing dominating caricature on Spitting Image. I also detested the divorced-from-politics "The Iron Lady" film recently in the cinemas.

So what do I make of these recordings? They're brilliant. When Thatcher speaks, she exudes charisma and charm. She sounds deeply pleasant. She is easy to listen to. These recordings are almost a narrative painted by vignette, dipping into various interviews as she begins to flesh out. You can hear the difference in tone between her in 1975, pre-election and in 1990, comfortable in office, aged-but-confident.

The recordings do not focus on the political, but focus on the person. But the political is not ignored. Fantastic. So we hear how she defends her ability to lead the Conservatives "I'm pushing fifty... I'm no chicken!". We hear the subtle defense of her husband - that her entry into politics and primacy on the national stage do not emasculate her husband. That rearing premature twins while coping with the burdens of high office did take a toll.

It's fascinating and certainly humanises Thatcher. It has not detracted at all from her political flaws, but you can see why so many have fallen under her spell. My only problem with this is that I wish there was more.
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VINE VOICEon 28 January 2012
Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I didn't know what to expect when I got this cd, but I'm pleased to say I've been very, very impressed.

Firstly the product itself. The quality of sound on the recardings themselves are excellent - very crisp, and very clear and it sounds as though the interview is taking place "in real time". There is no drop in sound qaulity at all from the time of the original interview. Also,each interview / certain part of a specific interview can be "skipped" to meaning you dont have to listen to the whole interview to get to the parts you want to listen to. The sleeve that accompanies the discs themselves though are is bit of a disappointment. You get 1 piece of paper which lists the interviews and that's it. There's No "chapter/track" guides - so you don't know what Track 5,6,7 etc is about until you listen to it. This is something the BBC needs to improve on in future releases.

As for the content, the interviews take place between 1975 and 1990 from both radio and TV and focus mostly on Thacher the person, rather than Thatcher the politician - which is both a positive and a negative depending on what your looking for from this set. There are times when She does touch upon political events, but thre is no real focus to them nor analysis, and they are only mentioned in the context of her personal life. As a result of this, I would say this set will please people looking to find out more about Thatcher the person than anything else.

The whole list of interviews on this set are:

Disc 1
*Jimmy Young, BBC Radio 2, 19th Feb 1975
*Pete Murray's late show, BBC Radio 2, 7th March 1982
*Interview for Central Office of Information, 13th December 1985

Disc 2
*Favourte Things, BBC 1, 26th July 1987
*Wogan, BBC 1, 12th January 1990
*Woman's Hour, BBC Radio 4, 17th May 1990

Overall, I found this set to be very enjoyable and it provides a very interesting insight to the Person who ran out country from 1979 to 1990
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on 1 March 2012
Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
You might think it is impossible to seperate Margaret Thatcher the person from Margaret Thatcher the politician, but you would be quite wrong.

These honest interviews successfully show Thatcher's human side. There is no denying her passion, sincerity and integruity. Love her or hate her, she has powered through life with remarkable energy.

What I found most striking was Thatcher's sense of humour. This is something I don't ever remember experiencing during her term of office. I am sure her legacy would be seen quite differently had she revealed it more to the public.

Questions are left unanswered about the negative consequences of some her political policies. I would have liked like to here an answer as to how she felt about what has become long term mass unemployment. At the time her party described unemployment as "A price worth paying", for the neccessary restructuring of British industry. However leaving entire communities without any fresh opportunities to work or the means to relocate where there was job prospects, was my biggest disappointment with her. I would like to know what her vision for these communities was and if she just ploughed ahead without one, wether she had any regrets.

Overall I enjoyed the interviews and they adde a lot to my knowledge of the great Lady. The lack of balance though, prevents me from giving this collection 5 stars.
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VINE VOICEon 8 March 2012
Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
"Margaret Thatcher Interviews 1975-1990" turned out to be an interesting pair of audio CDs. Interesting, in that the interviews chosen bring out the human side of Margaret Thatcher. If you're expecting interviewers probing into policies and trying to grill the former Prime Minister, then this is not for you. None of that combative stuff that people tend to remember from that era. These interviews are more fluffy, the Jimmy Young, Terry Wogan, Russell Harty type of interviews. That's not to say they are uninteresting. Quite the opposite - they demonstrate her human side, and also give the listener an idea of how she changed over that 15-16 year period.

There are also odd details in there that I hadn't heard before, such as a visit from Harold Macmillan just before British forces landed on the Falklands, to give her the benefit of advice from the then living ex-Prime Ministers. However, those details are few and far between.

Margaret Thatcher is somebody who polarised (and still polarises) opinion. Whether this set of CDs will mellow the attitudes of those who spit venom when talking of her is a good question. However, for those willing to consider the person beneath the caricature, this is an interesting listen.

Easy listening, intriguing, interesting but undemanding. Recommended.
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VINE VOICEon 17 March 2012
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Much has been written, said, screamed, lauded and hated about arguably one of our most controversial British politicians of the 20th century.

The very first interview takes place a few days after her selection as Conservative leader. Her voice is much softer, and amusingly she speaks about herself in the 3rd person. Obviously this is pointed out at some stage and she switches back to the fist person quite quickly. Although this sounds pompous today, speaking as "we" instead of "I" was common as politicians were not very used to using (or being used) by the media in the 70s.

The other thing that struck me in the early years - even after she became PM was the honesty with which she spoke. Her convictions, whether you shared them or not, were deep and honest, unlike our modern variety. She answers the questions to the best of her ability instead of fudging or side-stepping. It makes you think of how much modern politicians no longer wish to say or tell us.

Another, perhaps surprising feature of these interviews is to show how deeply she cared. Whereas most union bosses and subsequent Labour activists have painted her as he devil incarnate, these interviews show how far from the truth that is and it is probably time to redress the balance somewhat.

These recordings are a timely reminder that one should always make ones own mind up and resist the temptation to take the simple-minded media-forged road of complacent acceptance.
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VINE VOICEon 25 January 2012
Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
A timely release, with renewed interest in Thatcher following the cinema success of Iron Lady. It's a fascinating set of recordings, with great quality audio considering that some of the earliest were recorded nearly 40 years ago. Inevitably with just two CDs, there is little room to include all aspects of her life and leadership during such a broad period of time, and so the focus is very much on the personal - her attitudes, values and feelings, and even personal likes and dislikes. As such it's a portrait of the woman rather than a look at her governance and policies. This in itself is captivating enough, and re-humanises a woman who is thought of more as an era rather than a person. The interviews (even including an appearance on 'Wogan'!) are well chosen to give a broad flavour of her personality, and there are some rare glimpses into the human being behind the brash, controversial, political projection of Thatcher.

From whichever side of the fence you are listening (and I approached the CD as anything but a natural supporter of Thatcher's!), it's a deeply interesting collection of broadcasting and political history.
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