Not for Turning: The Life of Margaret Thatcher [NOOK Book]


Margaret Thatcher is one of the most iconic politicians of the twentieth century. With the possible exception of Winston Churchill, no other Prime Minister has had such an impact on modern British history. Like it or not, her radical social and economic policies have made Britain the country it is today. Without Margaret Thatcher there could...

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Not for Turning: The Life of Margaret Thatcher

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Margaret Thatcher is one of the most iconic politicians of the twentieth century. With the possible exception of Winston Churchill, no other Prime Minister has had such an impact on modern British history. Like it or not, her radical social and economic policies have made Britain the country it is today. Without Margaret Thatcher there could have been no New Labour, no Tony Blair and no David Cameron.

Now Robin Harris, for many years Thatcher's speechwriter, trusted adviser and the draftsman of two volumes of her autobiography, has written the defining book about this indomitable woman. He tells her extraordinary life story, from humble beginnings above her father's grocer's shop in Grantham, her early days as one of the first women in Westminster who became known as 'Thatcher milk-snatcher' during her days in the Ministry for Education and then as Prime Minister. We follow her through the 'Winter of Discontent', the tribulations of the miners' strike and the Falklands War. And Harris writes a stunning account of her exit from power and tells of her life after number 10.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Admiring…but evenhanded—a useful account.” —Kirkus Reviews

"Harris’s us a better glimpse into why and how Thatcher worked so well with Ronald Reagan than I have seen in previous biographies of either."—The American Spectator

“The political biography of the decade.” —Daily Mail (UK)

"[A] lively and accessible insider's account.” —Financial Times (UK)

“It is refreshing...Harris is like a long-faithful courtier freed by a monarch's death to speak the truth about them.” —Guardian (UK)

“No-holds-barred, well-written...contains the most authoritative account of her life after leaving office...a dramatic account.” —The Times (UK)

“Readable and well-informed...detailed and fascinating.” —Spectator (UK) 

“A pacy and entertaining book... well-sourced and packed with anecdotes. A first rate potted history.” —Express (UK)

“[Harris is] shrewd and sympathetic enough to do full justice to [Thatcher] as a politician and as a person.”

Standpoint Magazine (UK)

“Insightful and very readable. Its strength lies in its personal approach.”

Catholic Herlad (UK)

“Irresistible reading...the brilliance of Harris's gift for narrative has not deserted him.”

Times Literary Supplement (UK)

Kirkus Reviews
Admiring but not uncritical biography of England's Iron Lady, written by Tory stalwart and sometime Thatcher speechwriter Harris. Following her death in April, Margaret Thatcher (1925–2013) is coming in for reassessment, with at least three major biographies out this season and doubtless more to come. That she was not universally admired when she was in office is an understatement; that her own party turned her out of office in 1990 says as much, though of course Britons have turned out greater politicians, from Charles I to Winston Churchill. Harris allows that there is reason for the ambivalence, for Thatcher was not committed to any ideal of social equality along the hated French and American models: "It was not her aim to create a more equal society, only one where there was more opportunity." Inequality, she believed, went hand in hand with liberty, and though, by Harris' account, she never bought into the voodoo of trickle-down economics, she also essentially blamed the poor for their own poverty. As is well-known, and as Harris reiterates, Thatcher came from the fringes of the middle class and was a classic by-the-bootstraps case. She was also hypersensitive, vengeful and possessed of a long memory--never a good combination. One key adviser, Harris notes, was fired because "he did not flatter her enough and he made the mistake of ganging up on her with others--albeit for what he thought was her own good." For all that, the author points to Thatcher's accomplishments, along the Reagan lines, in making Britons feel proud to be Britons again, absence of empire and all, and in asserting Britain's role as an equal partner among the Allied powers in the waning days of the Cold War, even if America was not always appreciative of her insistence. Partisan but evenhanded--a useful account alongside more critical, more complete studies of Thatcher and the lasting effects of her years in power (see Charles Moore's recent authorized biography).
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781466847514
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 9/24/2013
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 512
  • Sales rank: 896,110
  • File size: 11 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

ROBIN HARRIS worked for the Conservative Party from 1978, and increasingly closely with Margaret Thatcher herself from 1985, writing her speeches and advising on policy. By the close of her premiership, he was probably the most trusted member of her political team at Downing Street, and he left Number Ten with her. As a member of her personal staff, he then drafted the two volumes of her autobiography and a further book on her behalf, continuing to see her regularly after her retirement.

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