Margaret Thatcher (Volume 1): The Authorized Biography Volume One Not For Turning

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9780713992823: Margaret Thatcher (Volume 1): The Authorized Biography Volume One Not For Turning
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Not For Turning is the first volume of Charles Moore's authorized biography of Margaret Thatcher, the longest serving Prime Minister of the twentieth century and one of the most influential political figures of the postwar era. Charles Moore's biography of Margaret Thatcher, published after her death on 8 April 2013, immediately supersedes all earlier books written about her. At the moment when she becomes a historical figure, this book also makes her into a three dimensional one for the first time. It gives unparalleled insight into her early life and formation, especially through her extensive correspondence with her sister, which Moore is the first author to draw on. It recreates brilliantly the atmosphere of British politics as she was making her way, and takes her up to what was arguably the zenith of her power, victory in the Falklands. (This volume ends with the Falklands Dinner in Downing Street in November 1982.) Moore is clearly an admirer of his subject, but he does not shy away from criticising her or identifying weaknesses and mistakes where he feels it is justified. Based on unrestricted access to all Lady Thatcher's papers, unpublished interviews with her and all her major colleagues, this is the indispensable, fully rounded portrait of a towering figure of our times.

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Review:

Amazon Guest Review of “Margaret Thatcher”

By Anne Applebaum

Anne Applebaum is the author of several books, including Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, a National Book Award finalist, and Gulag: A History, which won the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction. She writes a column for The Washington Post and Slate, and is the Director of Political Studies at the Legatum Institute in London. She divides her time between Britain and Poland, where her husband, Radek Sikorski, serves as Foreign Minister.

From the beginning she sounded different. She looked different too, particularly back when she had frizzy hair and wore too much jewelry...

Much has happened since then. She became the Iron Lady, she became prime minister, she became a symbol to love or hate, she became an “ism”...We all think we know what happened to her and why—but do we really?

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. By beginning at the beginning, by showing us the reality of the childhood we only know through clichés—“grocer’s daughter,” “scholarship girl”—by introducing us to the boyfriends we’ve never met and by quoting from her chatty, breathless letters to her sister (“I decided to buy a really nice undie-set to go under my turquoise chiffon blouse”) Moore shows us how impossible it would have been for anyone who knew her as a young woman to imagine what she would become.

He also captures her unsettling personality, her “actressy” manner, her stiffness in public, her private warmth, her inept outbursts and faux pas, almost always using the language of people who were there at the time. During the decade and a half he worked on this authorized biography—of which this is only the first volume—Moore had unprecedented access to her private papers, on condition that nothing be published until after her death. He interviewed just about everyone who knew Thatcher, from her private secretaries to her political enemies, and he did so meticulously. This enabled Moore to produce not a hagiography or a court biography, as some feared he would, but a multi-faceted picture of a compelling and unusual life.

Moore is at his best when presenting different views of the same situation. Some of these contradictory impressions are explained by the fact that she was female in an almost entirely male world. In later years, many assumed she had no interest in other women or awareness of herself as a role model, but Moore shows over and over again that this was not the case.

Her oddity was also connected to her brilliance, another one of her qualities now lost beneath layers of history and controversy. Thatcher got to Oxford from Grantham not because she had connections but because she worked incredibly hard, even overcoming objections from a teacher who told her to forget Oxford because “you haven’t got Latin.” She said, “I’ll get Latin” and went to take lessons from a Latin teacher at a local boy’s school. Later, she passed the Bar exam after studying tax law on her own.

The same autodidactic instinct impelled her to study economic and political theory. Although this is very much a narrative biography, it is also a thematic book about ideas: where they come from, how they affect people and how they get shaped into policies. And Thatcher proved unusually receptive to what were then very unfashionable ideas. In the summer of 1968, when the rest of the world was turning on and dropping out, she was in her suburban sitting room reading library books on Conservative political philosophy.

In the end, this combination of biography and intellectual history works perfectly. After all, Thatcher’s ideas were shaped by the place where she was born, by the people she met, by Oxford in the 1940s and Finchley in the 1950s, by her quirkiness and her brilliance, by her provinciality and her romantic choices. To understand what happened to Britain during her prime ministership and afterwards, it really is important to understand who she was: Moore’s Thatcher will now become the definitive account.

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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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2013. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Charles Moore s biography of Margaret Thatcher, published after her death on 8 April 2013, immediately supercedes all earlier books written about her. At the moment when she becomes a historical figure, this book also makes her into a three dimensional one for the first time. It gives unparalleled insight into her early life and formation, especially through her extensive correspondence with her sister, which Moore is the first author to draw on. It recreates brilliantly the atmosphere of British politics as she was making her way, and takes her up to what was arguably the zenith of her power, victory in the Falklands. (This volume ends with the Falklands Dinner in Downing Street in November 1982.) Moore is clearly an admirer of his subject, but he does not shy away from criticising her or identifying weaknesses and mistakes where he feels it is justified. Based on unrestricted access to all Lady Thatcher s papers, unpublished interviews with her and all her major colleagues, this is the indispensable, fully rounded portrait of a towering figure of our times. Seller Inventory # APG9780713992823

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2013. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Charles Moore s biography of Margaret Thatcher, published after her death on 8 April 2013, immediately supercedes all earlier books written about her. At the moment when she becomes a historical figure, this book also makes her into a three dimensional one for the first time. It gives unparalleled insight into her early life and formation, especially through her extensive correspondence with her sister, which Moore is the first author to draw on. It recreates brilliantly the atmosphere of British politics as she was making her way, and takes her up to what was arguably the zenith of her power, victory in the Falklands. (This volume ends with the Falklands Dinner in Downing Street in November 1982.) Moore is clearly an admirer of his subject, but he does not shy away from criticising her or identifying weaknesses and mistakes where he feels it is justified. Based on unrestricted access to all Lady Thatcher s papers, unpublished interviews with her and all her major colleagues, this is the indispensable, fully rounded portrait of a towering figure of our times. Seller Inventory # APG9780713992823

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