Claire Berlinski received her doctorate in international relations from Oxford University. She has since worked as a journalist and freelance writer throughout Asia and Europe. Her previous books include two novels, Loose Lips and Lion Eyes, and the nonfiction work Menace in Europe. She lives in Istanbul, Turkey.
There Is No Alternative: Why Margaret Thatcher Mattersby Claire Berlinski
Great Britain in the 1970s appeared to be in terminal declineungovernable, an economic train wreck, and rapidly headed for global irrelevance. Three decades later, it is the richest and most influential country in Europe, and Margaret Thatcher is the reason. The preternaturally determined Thatcher rose from nothing, seized control of Britain’s
Great Britain in the 1970s appeared to be in terminal declineungovernable, an economic train wreck, and rapidly headed for global irrelevance. Three decades later, it is the richest and most influential country in Europe, and Margaret Thatcher is the reason. The preternaturally determined Thatcher rose from nothing, seized control of Britain’s Conservative party, and took a sledgehammer to the nation’s postwar socialist consensus. She proved that socialism could be reversed, inspiring a global free-market revolution. Simultaneously exploiting every politically useful aspect of her femininity and defying every conventional expectation of women in power, Thatcher crushed her enemies with a calculated ruthlessness that stunned the British public and without doubt caused immense collateral damage.
Ultimately, however, Claire Berlinski agrees with Thatcher: There was no alternative. Berlinski explains what Thatcher did, why it matters, and how she got away with it in this vivid and immensely readable portrait of one of the towering figures of the twentieth century.
- Basic Books
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- Second Edition
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- 5.50(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.20(d)
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- 18 Years
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Margaret Thatcher is one of the most iconic political figures of the 20th century. She was the first female head of government, and to this day all strong female politicians inevitably invoke the comparison with her. However, her fame and achievements go well beyond just being a symbolic first in women's ascension in public and professional life. The impact that she had on both the British domestic policy and the international relations at the end of Cold War are monumental and will be hard to eclipse any time soon by a politician of either gender. She continues to inspire all those who are opposed to tyranny in all of its forms and support free exercise of individual capabilities unconstrained by bloated governmental intrusions. With this in mind, it is not surprising that there are plenty biographies of Madame Thatcher out there. There is enough information on her online to completely satisfy anyone's curiosity. And yet, Claire Berlinski manages to find a unique new angle and write a biography that is original and distinctive. She intersperses the narrative parts of the biography with numerous parts of interview with people who knew Margaret Thatcher well. She even quotes full dialogues from Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar" in the final chapter on Thatcher's downfall. This comes across a bit overly melodramatic, but nonetheless makes for an interesting read. Berlinski is also unashamed to use personal anecdotes and psychological evaluation of various protagonists of this biography, which can be viewed either as a bit self-indulgent or fresh and original. I tend to be more inclined towards the latter, but this may not sit too well with all readers. The importance of Margaret Thatcher has only increased over the years. She was one of the main politicians that opposed and fought socialism in all of its forms. After the fall of Communism and more or less general adoption of the main aspects of her policy by most major European parties, it looked like the free-market ideas that she so passionately championed had become completely vindicated once and for all. Unfortunately, in the recent years we have been witnessing the resurgence of those ideas, and it is important now more than ever to be reminded of what sorry life Brittan had led under such policies. This book is a useful reminder of that and an inspiration for everyone for the way out of that predicament.
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