With unequaled authority and dramatic detail, the first volume of Charles Moore’s authorized biography of Margaret Thatcher reveals as never before the early life, rise to power, and first years as prime minister of the woman who transformed Britain and the world in the late twentieth century. Moore has had unique access to all of Thatcher’s private and governmental papers, and interviewed her and her family extensively for this book. Many of her former colleagues and intimates have also shared previously unseen papers, diaries, and letters, and spoken frankly to him, knowing that what they revealed would not be published until after her death. The book immediately supersedes all other biographies and sheds much new light on the whole spectrum of British political life from Thatcher’s entry into Parliament in 1959 to what was arguably the zenith of her power—victory in the Falklands in 1982.
Drawing on an extraordinary cache of letters to her sister Muriel, Moore illuminates Thatcher’s youth, her relationship with her parents, and her early romantic attachments, including her first encounters with Denis Thatcher and their courtship and marriage. Moore brilliantly depicts her determination and boldness from the very beginning of her political career and gives the fullest account of her wresting the Tory leadership from former prime minister Edward Heath at a moment when no senior figure in the party dared to challenge him. His account of Thatcher’s dramatic relationship with Ronald Reagan is riveting. This book also explores in compelling detail the obstacles and indignities that Thatcher encountered as a woman in what was still overwhelmingly a man’s world.
Moore’s admiration for Thatcher is evident, yet his portrait is convincingly clear-eyed, conveying both how remarkable she was and how infuriating she could be, her extraordinary grasp at mastering policy and what needed to be done, and her surprising vulnerabilities. At the moment when Margaret Thatcher becomes a part of history, Moore’s portrait enlivens her, compellingly re-creating the circumstances and experiences that shaped one of the most significant world leaders of the postwar era.
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His work will very likely stand alongside that of John Morley, official biographer of Gladstone, as one of the masterpieces of British political history.Read Full Review of Margaret Thatcher: From Grant... | See more reviews from NY Times
...rather than a stentorian stalwart, his Thatcher is a mix of instinctive principle, half-formed doctrine, and hesitant calculation, groping her way toward a new dispensation.Read Full Review of Margaret Thatcher: From Grant... | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly
Mr. Moore...captures the atmosphere of these years beautifully...Read Full Review of Margaret Thatcher: From Grant... | See more reviews from WSJ online
Well-balanced...We look forward to the planned sequel, covering the years of Thatcher’s political decline.Read Full Review of Margaret Thatcher: From Grant... | See more reviews from Kirkus
The book is a fine read, though the extraordinary detail, while always illuminating, is sometimes excruciating. This, the first of two volumes, alone comes in at 859 pages.Read Full Review of Margaret Thatcher: From Grant... | See more reviews from Washington Times
It is not often that you can say of a 900-page book that it leaves you wanting to read more. But in this case it is true.Read Full Review of Margaret Thatcher: From Grant... | See more reviews from The Economist
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