Margaret Thatcher Hardcover – 14 Oct 2013
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The most readable, most entertaining book on Thatcher Ive read, and probably the most illuminating.,A magnificent work highly readable, carefully researched and above all brutally honest.,One day we might reach a reasonable assessment of Thatcher... This book, by an alarmingly candid friend, will go a long way towards helping find that balance.,Shrewd and compelling... [Aitken's account of] the hubris, machinations and miscalculations that led to Margaret Thatcher's downfall has real dramatic pace.,Aitken is an accomplished biographer and wordsmith. This book is highly readable and highly recommended.,Splendidly honest --Daily Telegraph
One day we might reach a reasonable assessment of Thatcher... This book, by an alarmingly candid friend, will go a long way towards helping find that balance - Simon Hoggart, The Guardian
Shrewd and compelling... [Aitken's account of] the hubris, machinations and miscalculations that led to Margaret Thatcher's downfall has real dramatic pace --John Campbell, Sunday Times
Aitken is an accomplished biographer and wordsmith. This book is highly readable and highly recommended - Neil Hamilton, Sunday Express
Splendidly honest --Jon Henley, The Guardian
About the Author
Jonathan Aitken, a former MP and cabinet minister, is the author of 14 books including his award winning biography of President Richard Nixon.
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Top Customer Reviews
His book is a far more personal account of Margaret Thatcher. The reader is given a ring-side seat to view her strengths and weaknesses.
Aitken's key aim is to describe what she was like as a person and prime minister, especially what she was trying to do and why, and to assess the consequences. He was a member of her cabinet and for a while very close to the Thatcher family-for 3 years he dated Caroline Thatcher before he ended the relationship. His political career ended when he was jailed for perjury (he has written two splendid books about his time in prison).
In this account Aitken describes warts and all the deceased character. She could be charming, kind yet rude, abrasive and cold. he argues, as have others, that her achievements were major, the Falklands, ending the miners strike, and getting President Reagan and Gorbachev to meet and talk.
He is very critical of Howe and Heseltine for their attack on Thatcher which eventually led to her downfall. He quotes her press secretary as saying:'probably the most tactless woman I have ever met in my life'. Aitken says she was never a fan of cabinet government (neither was Blair or Brown), 'consensus had no appeal for her'. At one cabinet meeting she told Howe (foreign secretary) 'your paper is twaddle. complete and utter twaddle'. Understandably, such outbursts in front of other ministers, no matter how accurate, caused dismay and anger. After her retirement from politics she lambasted Howe and co as traitors. Even her chosen successor, John Major, did not escape her sharp tongue.Read more ›
This book provides the insight into her character and strengths, you wont really know her until you read this.
The book is easy to read and very entertaining. You feel you are in the room, witnessing Margaret Thatcher's decision making process. There are also emotional moments when you feel in awe for her courage and steadfast determination.
I particularly enjoyed two specific features of the book. Each chapter terminates with a reflection where the author provides his personal insights on the events described in the chapter or one traits of Margaret thatcher's personality. The author has made over 90 interviews and he intersperses the narration with quotes from close acquaintances. Those quotes provide an insightful perspective on Margaret thatcher's personality.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A great insight of a Great Great Politician I cannot get enough of this wonderful person who we need in our times now! Well done to the authorPublished 12 months ago by Malcolm Spinks
Very readable. Aitken is no sycophant, drawing attention to Thatcher's weaknesses as well as her strengths. Read morePublished 13 months ago by TonyG
A sympathetic account of a major figure, a little heavy going in placesPublished 15 months ago by L. Spicer
I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in one of our most remarkable politicians and Prime Ministers. Read morePublished 18 months ago by GAZGPL
(Of course Mrs Thatcher knew the shipyards had to close but Swan Hunter submitted the last, BEST bid yet curiously striked to lose themselves the second order! Read morePublished 20 months ago by Lindsey Clare Gee-Turner
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