It's extremely well written and researched. Most people in her own party endured or accepted her reluctantly because they had tired of Ted Heath and losing elections. He also uses a lot of previously I was 11 when Margaret Thatcher came to power in 1979. New costumes are described in minute detail, and their effect on her audience recorded with diva-ish glee. This was an interesting portrait of her, clearly very pro-Thatcher, but that's what you get when it is an authorized biography.
For while Moore generally admires Thatcher, and often agrees with her, he never does so uncritically. Thatcher that got the job done, but doesn't make her warrant a State Funeral. 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. The Thatcher Government effectively rejected politics as compromise rather seeing it as a zero-sum game. This is part one, which takes us up to 1982.
In his recounting of her childhood and early years in power, Moore shows her great determination, which was often needed to overcome previous mistakes. The same applies to her relationship with Denis Thatcher, who had the good grace barely to utter a word in public while his wife was prime minister. The common narrative is of the Iron Lady who stuck to her policies through a period of exceptionally high interest rates and sharply rising unemployment in 1979-82, seeing off the 364 economists including the future Bank of England Governor Mervyn King who denounced her policies in a famous open letter of September 1981. Politics, for Thatcher, was a moral arena, and compromise smacked of appeasement. Moore's research is exhaustive as near as I can tell and he writes about Lady Thatcher with admirable objectivity. If Thatcher had little taste for reminiscence, it was partly because her childhood was not an especially happy one.
Many of her strongest beliefs were instilled by her father at a early age. Moore captures superbly the social world of post-war Conservatism, which served its members as a dining club, social network and even dating agency. The 900 pages flew by, the experience feeling like a grand voyage rather than the 'yomp' that a biography can sometimes be. Moore points out her many weaknesses as well as her strengths. The Grand Old Man, a deeply committed, if guilt-ridden, Christian, asked the radical, agnostic John Morley to write his biography, resulting in one of the finest political biographies ever written. Her thing with these much older, establishment men is amusingly awful.
By contrast today's vapid hacks, who resemble Price Waterhouse consultants and vary only in their glottal stops, are grey, bloodless and uninviting. She herself had set herself the ambition of being the first woman Chancellor of the Exchequer as the summit of her ambition interestingly, this remains the only one of the great offices of state which no woman has held even now. The British government of prime minister Margaret Thatcher responded by dispatching a naval task force to the South Atlantic, which first recovered the Falklands dependency of South Georgia and then moved on to land forces on the Falklands themselves. Salvation came from the Conservative Party, which at its high point in the 1950s claimed more than two million members. Seeking to demolish several foundations of the Keynesian welfare state, Thatcherism soon attracted economists and policy pundits eager to defend its achievements, including in North America at such bygone hotbeds of Keynesianism as Harvard University. Moore is most interesting in discussing the economic turnaround on which Thatcher embarked after her election in May 1979. Moore spent many years working on this project.
Mr Moore is not an unqualified admirer of his subject. Thatcher understood the necessity of compromise, but she disapproved of those who made compromise an objective in its own right. In her own lifetime she was both admired and reviled by many. Margaret Thatcher: From Grantham to the Falklands is the first volume in a two volume biography of the Iron Lady by author Charles Moore. I was 11 when Margaret Thatcher came to power in 1979. When his appointment was announced, her supporters cheered, and her opponents groaned: Moore was, they both felt, strongly Thatcherite, and would surely give her the easiest of rides.
The level of in-depth-analysis is mind-boggling. Both here and in the budget difficulties her chancellor, Geoffrey Howe, was invaluable; while himself toward the center-left of the party he believed in the economic strategy and had the calmness and credibility to stick to it while other Cabinet members, the media and the public assailed it. While in office, both Thatcher and Reagan wished the world to believe that they enjoyed a close and fruitful relationship. So if you are considering picking this one up, prepare to be patient - you need to get through a lot of verbiage to get to the interesting insights. Advertisement This is an authorised biography, as Charles Moore explains in his preface, only in the sense that Margaret Thatcher chose the author. I'm still amazed at the amount of top-down control the government had, and how it stifled growth and innovation while encouraging inflation and unrest.
She was without doubt the most divisive figures in British postwar politics,and I wanted to find out for myself why she attracted such strong feelings. Although this is the authorised biography, and the author is an admirer of his subject, it is far from a simple hagiography. He was a storekeeper and a lay Methodist minister. The sections about the Falklands War are very good indeed, and I loved the ending of this first volume. Thus the book ends on a high note, looking forward to Thatcher's successes throughout most of the 80s. While politicians voiced their protests in parliament, others were left to find alternative ways to communicate their discontent. I most certainly look forward to the next two volumes.
The book mentions many times when her behavior was stereotypically female - nervous, edgy, crying over lost soldiers, etc. Nott, Here Today, Gone Tomorrow: Recollections of an Errant Politician London, 2002 , p. For all of her critics claim to the contrary her greatest desire was always to look after the working men and women in England. The E-mail message field is required. Bear in mind even her predecessor, Jim Callaghan, said at the time that if her were a young man he'd emigrate.