Fans of Britain's first woman prime minister may have already purchased this fact-filled but ultimately self-serving memoir. Key events of Thatcher's 11-year reign--the alliance with Reagan, the Falklands/Malvinas War, the 1984-1985 miners' strike, conflict within the European Community, and so on--are described in exhaustive detail. There is little attempt to provide a balanced or subtle portrait of a controversial administration. Although, for the most part, the book's prose style is rather pedantic, Thatcher's unique personality nevertheless shines through. The gist of her approach is conveyed in the chapter titles--``The World Turned Right Side Up,'' ``Disarming the Left,'' ``No Time To Go Wobbly.'' Yet even Thatcher's harshest critics will find this book informative and revealing. The book contains over 50 photographs, some in color. A second volume, devoted to her life prior to the 1979 election that brought her to No. 10 Downing Street, is promised. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 6/15/93.-- Kent Worcester, Social Science Research Council, New York
The Iron Lady tells all. Well, not exactly "all"; her memoirs reveal little of her personal life and, chronologically, cover only those years during which she was prime minister. Her book has already caused a stir in the U.K. and will be read with great enthusiasm on this side of the Atlantic not only by people involved in government, but also by general readers keen on foreign affairs. The first woman prime minister of Britain was never known for sugarcoating, and her remembrance of her 11-year tenure at No. 10 Downing Street is defined not only by its wealth of details about her activities as head of the government, but also by her unequivocal opinions about world-important events she participated in and history-changing individuals she encountered. Would we expect anything else but outspokenness from Thatcher as she reviews, analyzes, explains, and defends her policies and procedures, domestic and foreign, during her controversial presiding over Britain's disestablishment of socialism and resurgence as a world power? Highlights of her recollections include her comments on the Falklands War ("The significance . . . was enormous, both for Britain's self-confidence and for [its] standing in the world") and the reunification of Germany ("Germany is . . . by its very nature a destabilizing rather than a stabilizing force in Europe"). One has to admire her for her honesty, integrity, and stick-to-her-guns attitude.