Top critical review
Thatcher: The Early Years
on 2 May 2009
I am by no means a supporter of Margaret Thatcher, but as someone with a keen interest in politics, how could I ignore her? She was a political giant and a truly remarkable woman. 'The Path to Power' was published in 1995, after her first, and far superior volume of memoir: 'The Downing Street Years', which covered her time as the first female Prime Minister of no.10 Downing Street.
In 'The Path to Power', Thatcher reflects on the early years of her life, when she was plain little Margaret Roberts, the daughter of a grocer who was also a former mayor for the town where she enjoyed her seemingly wonderful childhood, Grantham. She writes about how these days were to influence her political career and strong beliefs, before moving onto her years at college, education at Oxford university, her days as a chemist, and then as a lawyer. Later on, we read about her role in politics right up to the events which led to her history making election as the first women Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. She also explains to a satisfying degree, the formation of the principles that became Thatcherism, and this was particularly insightful, and interesting to read.
'The Path to Power' wasn't a bad read overall , but it is a long, heavy book (like it's best-selling predecessor 'The Downing Street Years', but nowhere near as interesting), and really only one of the devoted Thatcher fan most likely. I admit that I found it a struggle to get through, but learnt a lot from it. The book is illustrated with vintage black and white photographs, including a nice one of her and Denis on their wedding day.