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Charles Moore's masterful and definitive biography of Britain's first female prime minister reaches its climax with the story of her zenith and her fall. How did Margaret Thatcher change and divide Britain? How did her model of combative female leadership help shape the way we live now? How did the woman who won the Cold War and three general elections in succession find he Charles Moore's masterful and definitive biography of Britain's first female prime minister reaches its climax with the story of her zenith and her fall. How did Margaret Thatcher change and divide Britain? How did her model of combative female leadership help shape the way we live now? How did the woman who won the Cold War and three general elections in succession find herself pushed out by her own MPs? Charles Moore's full account, based on unique access to Margaret Thatcher herself, her papers, and her closest associates, tells the story of her last period in office, her combative retirement, and the controversy that surrounded her even in death. It includes the fall of the Berlin Wall, which she had fought for, and the rise of the modern EU that she feared. It lays bare her growing quarrels with colleagues and reveals the truth about her political assassination. Moore's three-part biography of Britain's most important peacetime prime minister paints an intimate political and personal portrait of the victories and defeats, the iron will but surprising vulnerability of the woman who dominated in an age of male power. This is the full, enthralling story.


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Charles Moore's masterful and definitive biography of Britain's first female prime minister reaches its climax with the story of her zenith and her fall. How did Margaret Thatcher change and divide Britain? How did her model of combative female leadership help shape the way we live now? How did the woman who won the Cold War and three general elections in succession find he Charles Moore's masterful and definitive biography of Britain's first female prime minister reaches its climax with the story of her zenith and her fall. How did Margaret Thatcher change and divide Britain? How did her model of combative female leadership help shape the way we live now? How did the woman who won the Cold War and three general elections in succession find herself pushed out by her own MPs? Charles Moore's full account, based on unique access to Margaret Thatcher herself, her papers, and her closest associates, tells the story of her last period in office, her combative retirement, and the controversy that surrounded her even in death. It includes the fall of the Berlin Wall, which she had fought for, and the rise of the modern EU that she feared. It lays bare her growing quarrels with colleagues and reveals the truth about her political assassination. Moore's three-part biography of Britain's most important peacetime prime minister paints an intimate political and personal portrait of the victories and defeats, the iron will but surprising vulnerability of the woman who dominated in an age of male power. This is the full, enthralling story.

30 review for Margaret Thatcher: Herself Alone: The Authorized Biography

  1. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

    At times this dragged a bit just because of the level of detail - the author seems to have managed to interview every single protagonist in the key events in Mrs Thatcher’s life. Once you get to the part about her downfall and the sad lonely end to her life that becomes a real asset though and the final part of the book is utterly compelling. Final impression after reading these three books is a diminished view of John Major and his scheming part in her demise, and a better impression of Mrs Tha At times this dragged a bit just because of the level of detail - the author seems to have managed to interview every single protagonist in the key events in Mrs Thatcher’s life. Once you get to the part about her downfall and the sad lonely end to her life that becomes a real asset though and the final part of the book is utterly compelling. Final impression after reading these three books is a diminished view of John Major and his scheming part in her demise, and a better impression of Mrs Thatcher then I had at the time that I lived through all this. She undoubtedly overstayed her welcome, but she did make changes for the better and as the last sentence said “gave everything she could”. Also Britain definitely had much greater power and say in the world under her with her relationship with the superpowers under Reagan and Gorbachev than it ever will do again post Brexit.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Colin Hoad

    A superb third - and final - volume. I have enjoyed this biography immensely, and Charles Moore is to be commended for such a thorough, well researched and eminently readable book. In common with the preceding two volumes, this one follows broad chronology broken out by theme. There is an entire chapter, for example, devoted to Thatcher's green credentials and her stance on global warming, something she took seriously long before it had become fashionable to do so. For me, the highlights were he A superb third - and final - volume. I have enjoyed this biography immensely, and Charles Moore is to be commended for such a thorough, well researched and eminently readable book. In common with the preceding two volumes, this one follows broad chronology broken out by theme. There is an entire chapter, for example, devoted to Thatcher's green credentials and her stance on global warming, something she took seriously long before it had become fashionable to do so. For me, the highlights were her relationship with the US, and how it changed after Reagan's departure; her role in ending apartheid by engaging with - and thereby cajoling - the Afrikaans government of the day; and, of course, the tragic fall from power that Moore narrates with depth, expertise and multiple perspectives. The winter years of Thatcher's life, up to and including her funeral, are sad to read but Moore's sprinkling of humorous anecdotes keeps things from becoming too gloomy while retaining, at all times, a sense of respect for the departed. The epilogue gives a broad assessment of Thatcher, both as a politician and as a woman. I found this in particular to be very interesting and engaging, a fitting end to this three-volume opus. In short, I cannot recommend this biography - all three volumes - highly enough.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Michael Bernard

    Having now read all three volumes of the biography, in my opinion this is head and shoulders above any other biography that I have read. Love or hate Mrs Thatcher, this is a balanced and factual account of her later years in office and after leaving No 10. Charles Moore has done an outstanding job of using the extraordinary amount of material available, as well as willing interviewees and his own contacts and experience. If it were possible to award an extra star for this book (and its predecesso Having now read all three volumes of the biography, in my opinion this is head and shoulders above any other biography that I have read. Love or hate Mrs Thatcher, this is a balanced and factual account of her later years in office and after leaving No 10. Charles Moore has done an outstanding job of using the extraordinary amount of material available, as well as willing interviewees and his own contacts and experience. If it were possible to award an extra star for this book (and its predecessors) I would happily do it. Just brilliant.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jonny

    I wouldn’t have read the trilogy if it hadn’t been for the excellent reviews of the final volume when it came out last year - and reaching the end of this volume, it’s comfortably the best of the three. The narrative is essentially split between foreign policy and political history - domestic and social policy fades into the background in what feels like both a cause and a metaphor for how alienated Thatcher became from both her Cabinet and the Parliamentary party by 1989. Moore’s admiration for I wouldn’t have read the trilogy if it hadn’t been for the excellent reviews of the final volume when it came out last year - and reaching the end of this volume, it’s comfortably the best of the three. The narrative is essentially split between foreign policy and political history - domestic and social policy fades into the background in what feels like both a cause and a metaphor for how alienated Thatcher became from both her Cabinet and the Parliamentary party by 1989. Moore’s admiration for her is more visible here than in the previous volumes (the apologism for her support of Pinochet in the late 1990s is...strained), but it’s still hard to disagree with his bemusement about the circumstances in which she was removed from power - although her isolation by that point meant that the writing was on the wall. The personal cost of her monomaniacal approach to her Premiership gets brought out, particularly in the final chapters where Moore charts her struggle to carve out a role before illness effectively removed her from public life. The biography obviously works best as a whole, but this volume would be an excellent standalone read for anyone looking to know more about the trajectory of the Conservative party from 1990 onwards.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Stylianou

    Love her or loath her, Charles Moore’s three part biography of Margaret Thatcher is a masterpiece of political literature. At times seeming to perhaps drag a little due to the immensity of the task at hand, he has managed to write a balanced three part series based on innumerable interviews, articles, quotes, meetings and records. Capturing her personality - someone who was forceful often to the point of being rude, stubborn to the point of unbending, yet determined and able to outwork everyone Love her or loath her, Charles Moore’s three part biography of Margaret Thatcher is a masterpiece of political literature. At times seeming to perhaps drag a little due to the immensity of the task at hand, he has managed to write a balanced three part series based on innumerable interviews, articles, quotes, meetings and records. Capturing her personality - someone who was forceful often to the point of being rude, stubborn to the point of unbending, yet determined and able to outwork everyone else - Moore has delivered a truly brilliant piece of work.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lingling

    . 总体感觉有点冗长,对英国政坛的描述过于详尽,但看完后对撒切尔的政治主张以及鲜明个性印象深刻,晚年的寂寞生活给人感觉高处不胜寒(当然伟人是用来瞻仰的,也用不着咱小老百姓瞎操心😅)。 Just started, was afraid the book might be a bit too detailed to my taste. Really not interested in nitty gritty of British politics. Mrs Thatcher’s remark “There is no such thing as society” was taken out of context and used against her by her opponents. In reality, her approach to society reflects her fundamental belief in personal responsibility and choice. 英国经济政策的转变(从凯恩斯主义到货币主义)得益于美国支持,但教育改革也转向美国寻求支持有点匪夷 . 总体感觉有点冗长,对英国政坛的描述过于详尽,但看完后对撒切尔的政治主张以及鲜明个性印象深刻,晚年的寂寞生活给人感觉高处不胜寒(当然伟人是用来瞻仰的,也用不着咱小老百姓瞎操心😅)。 Just started, was afraid the book might be a bit too detailed to my taste. Really not interested in nitty gritty of British politics. Mrs Thatcher’s remark “There is no such thing as society” was taken out of context and used against her by her opponents. In reality, her approach to society reflects her fundamental belief in personal responsibility and choice. 英国经济政策的转变(从凯恩斯主义到货币主义)得益于美国支持,但教育改革也转向美国寻求支持有点匪夷所思,这两国家大哥二哥基础教育都不怎么样🤪。 A lot of politics that I don’t quite understand nor care to understand. Seems a lot to do with power struggle whether to have local governments be more autonomic. I am impressed by how democratic government functions: that is a prime minister has to rely a lot on her senior officials and cannot decide on her own all the policies. A leader’s role/power is limited. I guess that’s the appeal of democracy. It’s interesting that the Bank of England wasn’t independently run till 1997, unlike the Federal Reserve of the United States. Also the Chancellor oversees both budget (fiscal policy) and interest rates/exchange rates(monetary policy). 加入欧盟的问题上,撒切尔是欧洲怀疑派。欧洲精英们对创造财富嗤之以鼻(想起来格林斯潘说过的法国人根深蒂固的对丛林法则的资本主义不屑一顾),显然跟撒切尔的观点大相径庭。 Mrs Thatcher tried to win an art collection to be housed in Britain but failed. Before her meeting with Gorbachev, she said “One has to be careful because if you scratch him right down there is probably still the old Communist Imperialist at heart.” “ ‘The others’(meaning the European leaders) ‘are as jealous as hell’”.巴尔干半岛问题上美国原本打算卖武器给阿根廷但由于撒切尔的阻挠,里根不愿破坏他跟撒切尔的关系而最终作罢。 glasnost and perestroika 俄语的改革开放。撒切尔和里根(八年任期)之间的志同道合在英美历史上属于前无古人 后无来者。老布什虽然副总统期间跟撒切尔关系还不错但他就任总统后不想像里根一样被撒切尔牵着鼻子走。布什把外交重心从英国转向德国,从而绕过了撒切尔,她也失去了冷战时期舞台中央的地位。 花絮:牛津大学曾拒绝给撒切尔颁发荣誉学位。伊朗把美国看作大魔鬼(Great Satan),英国是小魔鬼(Little Satan)。 撒切尔对情报工作非常重视,试图阻止一位前情报官员(由于养老金问题对英政府不满,去了澳大利亚,后决定在美国出版他的书)出版披露英国情报机构内幕和双重间谍(苏联)的书,但没有成功。Bernard Ingham(撒切尔的首席新闻秘书)advised,“Current thinking is riddled with self-delusion. I consider that a far more effective remedy would be for the secret services (who have, after all, largely got themselves into this mess) publicly to shut up and secretly to grit their teeth, pull themselves together and get on with it. I only write minutes like this when I think people are in danger of doing the wrong thing.”撒切尔一直主张情报部门的秘密性(不想把它纳入法治体系)。情报部门是否要移址问题,“She looked out of window at the ivy-covered wartime Admiralty building across Horse Guards. ‘Why can’t they go in there?’ She asked. ‘There are no windows,’ Butler replied. ‘That’s what’s so good about it,’ said Mrs Thatcher. 撒切尔对北爱尔兰的恐怖主义持强硬态度,可惜她在此问题上常被排挤。1989年撒切尔执政10周年: this chapter I don’t really enjoy getting into deep woods of British politics. Bottom line is that she was ambushed by her foreign secretary and chancellor in the matter of whether to set a date to join ERM(exchange rate mechanism) of Europe. They threatened to resign but didn’t have the guts to carry out even though she didn’t set a date, thus they lost her respect in her eyes. Reshuffle of the Cabinet reflected her divide-and-rule practice against her foreign secretary and chancellor. Learned a new word “stalking horse” 掩护性候选人。推动了广播,水,电力工业私有化。The abolition of the Dock Labour Scheme is “ a good example of the way she sniffed the air, decided what the public were thinking, quite independently of everyone else, and acted accordingly. Picked what she judged to be the right moment.”敏锐的政治嗅觉。 Mrs Thatcher is proud of being the first prime minister with a science degree. “although in truth some of her greatest contributions to public life came more from her instincts than from her ratiocination. ” She is the first world leader who called attention to climate change. She has doubts with UN. “In truth, she did not see such meetings as fallacious so long as she was in charge of them.” Her linkage of aid and trade with respect to the Pergau Dam in Malaysia. “She made bigger omelettes than anyone else, and therefore broke more eggs.” South Africa policy: “Her main aim had been engagement with the white government to end apartheid, the release of Mandela and holding the line against sanctions. “ 撒切尔(由于她的童年二战经历很不喜欢德国,对德国有很大的戒心)强烈反对东西德统一,与布什政府和欧洲其他领导人以及英国外交部(内阁)意见相左。法国总统(a wicked old man, 老狐狸)对于德国统一的看法。”It is difficult to judge who is right about Mitterrand’s thoughts. The French people spent some forty years trying and usually failing to understand his real views about anything. Mrs Thatcher had a shorter acquaintance with him, and no better luck.” “Powell described the scene of Bonn meeting to her: ‘a heady atmosphere in Bonn....After decades of sober and cautious diplomacy ...they are in the driving seat and Toad is at the wheel... The Germans’ moment has come: they are going to settle their destiny.” It’s kind of interesting to read about all the “give and take” and delicacies between different nations in terms of diplomacy. “She found the conversation ‘alarming’, Powell reported to US officials: Gorbachev had sounded ‘like a man whose father had just died.’” 跟叶利钦的第一次会面:“They met with mutual and lively interest, but...rather like two creatures from quite alien species and different parts of the zoo, sniffing around each other.” “Charles Powell summed up:’Although it was a fairly combative session and the Soviet commanders emerged with their armour slightly dented and their helmets somewhat askew, the general atmosphere was good-humored.’” “From her memoirs: The true origin of German angst is the agony of self-knowledge.” “Famously, Mrs Thatcher respected men who stood up to her and bullied those who did not. She had spent quite a lot of time bullying Bush. Now that he had faced her down and, without gloating, defeated her, she probably felt an increased respect for him.” “The phrase ‘Cabinet government’ had been code for ‘Getting Margaret under control’.” “As Jim Baker drily recalled,’Margaret had an uncanny ability to flex our muscles.’” “British prime ministers are not, as US presidents are, the Commander-in-Chief.There is no evidence, however, that she expected party or parliamentary revolt against sending British forces.” The story about “The key was not to go wobbly now.” (When and why the word ‘wobbly’ was uttered) is quite amusing. 第一次海湾战争,“The brutal truth of the matter is that the only forces that counted were UK forces and US forces. I’ll never forget Mitterrand telling me,’I find it hard to consider the prospect of shedding French blood for a man [the Amir of Kuwait] who has thirteen wives and grows roses!’” 撒切尔第四届选举对手总结到“The poll tax was explosive, but Europe was the fundamental divide.” “She was like the grandest passenger on the Titanic - offered every comfort and deference, but still headed for the iceberg.” 面对众多内阁成员的反对,大势已去,撒切尔也无法力挽狂澜。有些成员在撒宣布卸任后掉下了鳄鱼的眼泪,有够伪善的:)卸任演说,谈到贫富差距,“So long as the gap is small, they would rather have the poor poorer. One does not create wealth and opportunity that way. One does not create a property-owning democracy that way.” Mrs Thatcher against the Tory establishment/all-male club. 对于为她服务的身边的人,她非常和善,但对于她的同事,她毫不留情,非常粗鲁。not good man-management。 撒切尔让李鹏转交她送给赵紫阳的领带,“He held the tie as if it were a cobra.” 对于她的继任者,”she found that Major did not fulfil her ideal of manhood, which tended to be what she called a ‘fine mind’, or a dashing man of the world, or a person of unimpeachable, soldierly loyalty. Major’s ‘tactile bonhomie’, so pleasing to some, was, to her, ‘slightly creepy’.” 她老公对Major的评价,”he was ‘a nice, useless man, who cannot lead.’” Final days, dry sense of humor. “One evening, Kate was watching television with her, and a clip of Lady Thatcher herself speaking came on the screen. ‘Could you turn that woman off, please?’ she said, deadpanning. ‘I’ve had enough of her.’” “Although Lady Thatcher was fond of her carers, and enjoyed domesticity, she remained a male-oriented woman. Her memories centered much more on her father and her husband than on her mother.”晚年寂寞孤独,给人感觉高处不胜寒。

  7. 5 out of 5

    E

    Well I've finally made it to the end of this three-part biography. This third is obviously going to deal with how the greatest peacetime Prime Minister in English history fell from power. The woman who led the Tory Party to three straight general election victories was toppled from within, by her own party, not from any electoral loss. Thus the title of this work has a double meaning. Let me explain. Margaret Thatcher stood apart among the Western leaders at this point in he career. Reagan had be Well I've finally made it to the end of this three-part biography. This third is obviously going to deal with how the greatest peacetime Prime Minister in English history fell from power. The woman who led the Tory Party to three straight general election victories was toppled from within, by her own party, not from any electoral loss. Thus the title of this work has a double meaning. Let me explain. Margaret Thatcher stood apart among the Western leaders at this point in he career. Reagan had been succeeded by his vice president. Socialists in France and Belgium and at the (forerunner to the) European Union were petty and unctuous. Kohl had a previously divided country that he was seeking to unite without the introduction of millions of new voters causing him to lose power. Thatcher alone was unafraid to speak into the major geopolitical issues of her day in way that uniquely principled, insightful, and, I must say, accurate. But she was also increasingly alone in Downing Street. She grew wary and distrustful of her Cabinet, and they with her. She allowed herself to be perceived as aloof and uncaring, even those this wasn't her case. All this lead to a challenge to her party leadership. And what's crazy is that Thatcher won a large majority on the first ballot (to Michael Heseltine, who didn't even end up succeeding her). But he margin of victory was just small enough to necessitate a second ballot (in rules the Conservative Party has since ditched), which was where things usually got interesting as MPs smelled blood in the water. She was convinced not to stand for the second ballot. And so John Major took her office and soon won a general election of her own, keeping the Tories in power until 1997, when new Labour under Tony Blair won a smashing victory. The rest of Thatcher's life had a whiff of sadness. She was seemingly designed by God to be PM but couldn't do much else. She did write her memoirs and give plenty of speeches around the world, continuing to the stress the values she held dear. She was an early realist on the Balkan Crisis and was progressively more and more disenchanted by the European project, to which a majority of the country has since, happily, awakened. She was ridiculed by many, but this was possible only because she actually good for concrete values and was able enough to see those values translated into change, nearly always good change, even if some were too hidebound to see it.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Bookreporter.com Biography & Memoir

    For openers, I freely admit to having been thoroughly daunted by the sheer physical presence of Charles Moore’s MARGARET THATCHER: HERSELF ALONE, the third and final volume in his definitive biography of one of the Western world’s most noteworthy leaders. Its 1,006 pages weigh in at an imposing 3 lbs. 5 oz. The family cat, who normally enjoys extended lap-time when recruited as a warm bookrest, was having none of it. I settled for a big pillow instead and dug in while the volume was still cold fr For openers, I freely admit to having been thoroughly daunted by the sheer physical presence of Charles Moore’s MARGARET THATCHER: HERSELF ALONE, the third and final volume in his definitive biography of one of the Western world’s most noteworthy leaders. Its 1,006 pages weigh in at an imposing 3 lbs. 5 oz. The family cat, who normally enjoys extended lap-time when recruited as a warm bookrest, was having none of it. I settled for a big pillow instead and dug in while the volume was still cold from the doorstep, calculating how many pages I’d have to read every day to complete what looked like a literary marathon, a veritable black hole of dry textbook prose. But if it had been such an awful ordeal, you probably wouldn’t be reading this now. And if you’re one of the enlightened folks who’ve traveled through Moore’s previous two (equally weighty and illuminating) volumes about Britain’s most celebrated and notorious 20th-century Prime Minister, then you’ll already know how compelling and comprehensive that prose really is. I’m not among that group, but now wish I was; I will have my catch-up work cut out for me. After the first few chapters, beginning with Thatcher’s turbulent third term in office (1987), Moore’s intellectual, emotional, philosophical and literary mastery of the subject broke down all my resistance and fear. Dense with primary text, copious numbered endnotes, and clusters of oddly interesting footnotes, the pages of MARGARET THATCHER: HERSELF ALONE did not turn quickly --- but turn they did, with the rhythmic fascination and promised (but sometimes withheld) revelations of a fully-staged Wagnerian opera. And on this scale, politics can be none other than a vast and convoluted operatic tableau! Having lived through “the Thatcher years” as a young adult, I’m still surprised at how much I can remember from news headlines of the day --- names, places, personalities, events, crises --- despite not being very politically aware at the time, even about Canadian issues. Through domestic monetary controversies, the birth pangs of European economic union, irreconcilable differences over Ireland, tempestuous national health and education reform, taxation and labor riots, the fall of the Berlin Wall, tantalizing hopes for glasnost and perestroika in the USSR, the dawn of the Mandela era in South Africa, the high-wire dance of nuclear deterrence with the US, and myriad other issues enveloping the globe, Margaret Thatcher boldly steered her no-compromise vision of grassroots conservatism through every obstacle that arose. And there were plenty of them in a world still dominated by male privilege and class-connected elitism. Moore’s style of footnoting every new name that appears (and there are hundreds) identifies birth and death dates, schools and universities attended, offices held, and knighthoods or other honors bestowed. With few exceptions (usually women), this class formula is rigidly followed. Ironically, Margaret Thatcher herself hardly fitted the mould of those who looked to her for strong leadership, decisive policy-making and party unity during more than a decade of fractious government. She did indeed personify her unofficial title as “the Iron Lady.” A grocer’s daughter who earned admission to Oxford by sheer academic slog, she entered politics armed with chemistry and law degrees, succeeding Ted Heath in 1975 as Conservative Party Leader, and in 1979 becoming the country’s first (and to date only) female Prime Minister, a tenure that would last, against many odds, for three terms. Unlike the vast majority of her upper-class “old boys club” colleagues in British politics, she could authentically claim to be the only one among them to apply rigorous scientific methodology to the resolution of complex diplomatic, economic and social problems. While her conclusions often led to heated disagreement, her preparedness for substantive parliamentary debate on key issues was almost never in question. That sometimes incongruous ability to blend iron will and spontaneous charm were almost certainly traits that endeared her to American president Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, both of whom became personal friends. In this exhaustive and astonishingly detailed account of Thatcher’s third term in office until her death (1987 through 2013), Moore interweaves numerous overlapping and interdependent political issues with consummate ease, harking back at just the right moment for an average reader’s memory to earlier volumes or chapters in which the same or similar issues are previously discussed. This literary courtesy alone is enough to remove much of the intimidation one might feel in navigating through such a complex account without losing track of time and place. In fact, Moore takes such pains in contextualizing the relevant personal and professional details of Thatcher’s career that the book almost seems to unfold in real time. Just trying to imagine a dated timeline of events in MARGARET THATCHER: HERSELF ALONE is mind-boggling; I can safely say that not a single week of that entire quarter century would have escaped his diligent research and brilliant analysis. When all is said and done, however, one of the most rewarding perks of this intense journey through the last period of Margaret Thatcher’s life is that Moore (the only writer she personally authorized to have access to all of her records and correspondence) captures her rare but genuine moments of warmth, empathy, reflection and intuition. Love her or hate her, she was a real person doing real work, dedicated (as she herself put it) to the service of her country. One can say no less of Charles Moore, who took what many researchers would call an almost impossible task and gathered its countless frayed ends into a work of enduring value for generations to come. Reviewed by Pauline Finch

  9. 5 out of 5

    Grace Hoffmann

    The first half of this book was a real slog but the account of the coup to oust Thatcher from office is worth it. It also shows how far back the conflict over Britain's relationship with Europe (culminating in Brexit) go. This is the 3rd volume in a masterful and wonderful account of Thatcher's life. Definitive. Charles Moore is a wonderful writer who makes the reader understand the singularity of Margaret Thatcher's personality and her drive. It's also a study of power -- the gaining it, and th The first half of this book was a real slog but the account of the coup to oust Thatcher from office is worth it. It also shows how far back the conflict over Britain's relationship with Europe (culminating in Brexit) go. This is the 3rd volume in a masterful and wonderful account of Thatcher's life. Definitive. Charles Moore is a wonderful writer who makes the reader understand the singularity of Margaret Thatcher's personality and her drive. It's also a study of power -- the gaining it, and the hanging onto it, and the losing it. It's so frustrating that liberals do not give Thatcher her due as a historical figure and as a leader. Amazing biography and second only to Caro's work on LBJ.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jay Cat

    Interesting and vibrant, it is written so well that you want to turn each page quickly... The 3 volumes are really amazing but the main flaw is that I have realized after finishing, it is just the author doesn't explain much why she was hated by half the population. It is explained through the poll tax period but nothing for example during the miner's strike. Nevertheless; it is one of the best biographies I have read... Interesting and vibrant, it is written so well that you want to turn each page quickly... The 3 volumes are really amazing but the main flaw is that I have realized after finishing, it is just the author doesn't explain much why she was hated by half the population. It is explained through the poll tax period but nothing for example during the miner's strike. Nevertheless; it is one of the best biographies I have read...

  11. 4 out of 5

    Joseph J.

    Won in a Goodreads Giveaway, a great way to start New Year's Day. In the summer of 1981 while living as a seminarian in a large New York City Catholic Church, only one person raised the ire of one first-generation Irish American priest than the royals: Margaret Thatcher. Years later, as I tired of the anti-Americanism bellowed by an Irish priest, I lied and said I was reading Mrs. Thatcher's memoirs: That got the rise out of him I desired and shut him up. I did not have great admiration for Mrs. Won in a Goodreads Giveaway, a great way to start New Year's Day. In the summer of 1981 while living as a seminarian in a large New York City Catholic Church, only one person raised the ire of one first-generation Irish American priest than the royals: Margaret Thatcher. Years later, as I tired of the anti-Americanism bellowed by an Irish priest, I lied and said I was reading Mrs. Thatcher's memoirs: That got the rise out of him I desired and shut him up. I did not have great admiration for Mrs. Thatcher, largely because I did not support Ronald Reagan, and the two seemed joined at the hip. This book, which begins as Reagan's Presidency is drawing to a close and Thatcher enters the final phase of her years in office, points out that Reagan always seemed a bit subservient to Thatcher in her presence, and she appeared the superior intellect. Okay, as Nancy Reagan observed, Ronnie downplayed his intelligence. However as George H.W. Bush entered the Oval Office in 1989, he was determined not to let Thatcher grab the spotlight. He indeed felt more comfortable with our allies on the continent who themselves had a prickly relationship with Thatcher. Thatcher always seemed to lecture, and lecture down, as biographer Peter Bourne in his book notes of Jimmy Carter's experience on first meeting Thatcher, then not even P.M. A rich section of this book deals with Thatcher addressing-or educating?-church leaders in Scotland on the Old and new Testaments and the place of religion in the world. A hostile audience to start was not won over. Indeed, as we in 2020 grapple with the likability of our candidates, and particularly and unfairly women candidates, I wondered how likable Thatcher was, not to her underlings but to her peers. In her own 'team if rivals" cabinet she justified the presence of critical Lord Whitelaw as every P.M. "needs a Willie" without seeing humor or irony there. A central focus of this lengthy official biography is THE FALL from power Thatcher endured in the autumn of 1990, directed by those in her own government as Great Britain grappled with its relationship with Europe. And when she fell, BOY did she fall. The Bush's pitied her leaving a Versailles dinner and graciously accompanied her out, as she returned to defeat in England (early on I loved the author's characterization of Barbara Bush as left wing!). Leaving her final audience with Elizabeth II, resignation tendered, she gives full vent to emotions. She and husband Dennis leave Downing Street and she returns to their residence and no food in the kitchen. In the wilderness years she is more graciously treated by New Labor than her own Conservative Party. Her relationship with her adult children is strained and Dennis dies. Ill health, strokes and dementia slowly consume her, but she does manage a trip to the states and Reagan's funeral. Her eulogy must be carefully taped for broadcast in the cathedral. Her own death is met with a near-state funeral attended by the Queen, and by celebrations of her demise across England as "Ding Dong the Witch is Dead" rises on the pop charts. Mrs. Thatcher's painful fall from power is a warning to those who seek it today. And a point of admiration: The scientist in Thatcher was early on knowledgeable on the effects of green house gases, pollution and the planet's warming. In this she should be an inspiration to today's '"conservatives." She also seemed more responsive to the tragedy of AIDS in her country that leaders in the United States. Did I leave these 850 pages of text more appreciative of Thatcher, yes. Did I like her? Not fully. That lecturing. Admirable of her tough politics toward communism with an opening to a changing Russia. Yes. Wondering what has happened to England and the United States now, and the lower quality of leadership we seem to expect in the face of a resurgent Russia. Indeed.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Philipp Hartmann

    As in the case of the two previous volumes, this third and final part of the authorized biography of Margaret Thatcher abounds in detail and gives a good and very detailed insight into the final years of the arguably best peacetime British Prime Minister of the 20th century. It covers the period from 1987, right after her third consecutive victory in a general election (a feat unprecedented to this day in British politics), to her death, aged 87, and her subsequent funeral (and the controversies As in the case of the two previous volumes, this third and final part of the authorized biography of Margaret Thatcher abounds in detail and gives a good and very detailed insight into the final years of the arguably best peacetime British Prime Minister of the 20th century. It covers the period from 1987, right after her third consecutive victory in a general election (a feat unprecedented to this day in British politics), to her death, aged 87, and her subsequent funeral (and the controversies around it) in 2013 and her legacy. The level of detail offered by Charles Moore is staggering. He offers a very readable and thematically well-organized book, which is pretty much unbiased and largely objective, impressed though he is by Lady Thatcher's personality and qualities. As pointed out in the epilogue, there is a thin line between vice and virtue, and surely Mrs Thatcher's way of conducting politics - particularly in her later years - can be described as impervious to criticism and oftentimes hermetic. However, if one compares the starting point in her premiership in 1979 with the situation Britain found itself in upon her leaving office in 1990, one cannot but grant her with the lion's share of the great successes that emerged during her leadership. For it was she who managed the privatization of large shares of the British economy, who - through her staunchness - contributed significantly to the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe and who managed the post-Cold War order. Last but not least, she refrained from giving up too much sovereignty to the European Institutions, something which is clearly vindicated by history, as shown by Brexit, a quarter of a century after her leaving office. The book elucidates in great detail the circumstances of her fall and shows that it was far from ineluctable. One cannot but wonder what would have been had she spent more time campaigning for her reelection as leader of the Conservative party and taking a tougher stance on Europe. The last part of this final volume is understandably a sad one, as it illustrates her professional and personal isolation as well as her physical and mental decline which ultimately leads to her demise. Therefore, the title of this last volume, Herself Alone , is well-chosen. A marvellous book.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ariel Preminger

    Charles Moore has written a monumental work that will endure far into this century. His extraordinary scope, reinforced with a massive body of reference brings us into Ms. Thatcher's tenure as prime minister, and complemented with an overall view of her whole life. That surely would have been enough, but instead we receive a precious bonus. We get a close look at the intricate machinery of the British system of government at work. Although the author can be labeled as sympathetic to his subject, Charles Moore has written a monumental work that will endure far into this century. His extraordinary scope, reinforced with a massive body of reference brings us into Ms. Thatcher's tenure as prime minister, and complemented with an overall view of her whole life. That surely would have been enough, but instead we receive a precious bonus. We get a close look at the intricate machinery of the British system of government at work. Although the author can be labeled as sympathetic to his subject, it is in no way an adulatory piece of work. Ms. Thatcher was a giant of the world stage, and her place in history has been firmly cemented with the contribution of Mr. Moore. I finally wish to add that although Britain's role in the world has been much diminished since the end of WWII, the fact that they produce leaders of this calibre more often than most nations makes betting against Britain a risky bet. We owe Mr. Moore a debt of gratitude for the work behind this trilogy.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Indraroop

    I’m glad to have read this incredible series. I previously knew Margaret Thatcher as a polarizing conservative politician and strong Reagan ally. Reagan’s polarizing legacy and contribution to the current state of America predisposed me to be unsympathetic to her and diminished her legacy as a woman. This three-series biography highlights Thatcher’s legacy: she stands tall and apart from her peers. Much of her legacy and personality stemmed from the need to stand out against the patriarchy. Whil I’m glad to have read this incredible series. I previously knew Margaret Thatcher as a polarizing conservative politician and strong Reagan ally. Reagan’s polarizing legacy and contribution to the current state of America predisposed me to be unsympathetic to her and diminished her legacy as a woman. This three-series biography highlights Thatcher’s legacy: she stands tall and apart from her peers. Much of her legacy and personality stemmed from the need to stand out against the patriarchy. While it contributed to her success, it also created the perception of “that woman” and led to her fall. I still have a mostly unsympathetic view of her conservative policies, but I'm glad I have a detailed understanding of her as an individual and a complicated personality.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Laurence

    Incredible level of detail and comprehensive research. Covered the part of the Mrs Thatcher's life the I remember the best, and I learnt a number of new things still. Moore strikes a good balance between his clear admiration for his subject but with enough detachment to recognise faults. I felt the view of John Major quite negative (which may be justified), but remember that Major said I think his own autobiography that he'd never trusted Moore as a journalist, and I wonder if there is anything Incredible level of detail and comprehensive research. Covered the part of the Mrs Thatcher's life the I remember the best, and I learnt a number of new things still. Moore strikes a good balance between his clear admiration for his subject but with enough detachment to recognise faults. I felt the view of John Major quite negative (which may be justified), but remember that Major said I think his own autobiography that he'd never trusted Moore as a journalist, and I wonder if there is anything behind this. Particularly sensitively constructed account of her final years, giving a good picture of what happened without invading privacy too much. Sadly I doubt we'll see a political biography of a subsequent prime minister done this well...

  16. 5 out of 5

    Peter

    Third part of the trilogy completed. A comprehensive and illuminating assessment of Lady Thatcher’s fall from power and subsequent years beyond office. There were times when I struggled to retain interest in the unnecessarily detailed accounts of not particularly interesting meetings with US presidents and other world leaders. Much preferred the domestic chapters (politics and life). Interesting on John Major’s motives at various stages which I have a minor insight into as a former private secre Third part of the trilogy completed. A comprehensive and illuminating assessment of Lady Thatcher’s fall from power and subsequent years beyond office. There were times when I struggled to retain interest in the unnecessarily detailed accounts of not particularly interesting meetings with US presidents and other world leaders. Much preferred the domestic chapters (politics and life). Interesting on John Major’s motives at various stages which I have a minor insight into as a former private secretary of his

  17. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    A marvelous depiction of the final years of Lady T’s premiership and the melancholic decades to follow her ouster. Beyond her immense political accomplishments and incredible fall from grace, the reader sees the personal side of Thatcher that seemed so elusive during her lifetime. Charles Moore proves himself one of the most competent and dignified biographers of the age, and his three volume set should rightly be considered as part of the canon of biographies.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mana

    Brilliant biography (Volume 3) of an iron Lady Margaret Thatcher, very detailed, with accurate sources. Must read for all who want to learn about our history, not just in Great Britain, but also in EU and the world. She was one of the most gifted leaders and astonishing woman in a world full of men politicians. Stunning reading.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sara Goldenberg

    At some point, I realized I didn't know anything about Mrs Thatcher and that I probably should. I didn't realize that Part 1 of her life would be a heavy volume of more than 800 pages. Be that as it may, at this point, I DO know something about her, so Mission Accomplished! The book is detailed and interesting and well-written. With pictures!!! At some point, I realized I didn't know anything about Mrs Thatcher and that I probably should. I didn't realize that Part 1 of her life would be a heavy volume of more than 800 pages. Be that as it may, at this point, I DO know something about her, so Mission Accomplished! The book is detailed and interesting and well-written. With pictures!!!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ben Monro-Davies

    Dont be put off by the scale - this is volume three. I read it in a week. The account of her post Downing St years is very moving - she seems almost abandoned by her family. I did think compared to his previous volumes Moore was too biased in her favour - especially over South Africa. But its a masterpiece - and a sotry - the political tale of the last 50 years.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Cindelu

    I won this book on Goodreads. First of all it must weigh 10 lbs! And then I discover it is actually the third volume of her life! Whoa, I couldn't even make my way through the prolog. Sorry but this is too much for me. I won this book on Goodreads. First of all it must weigh 10 lbs! And then I discover it is actually the third volume of her life! Whoa, I couldn't even make my way through the prolog. Sorry but this is too much for me.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Davidveidlitz

    I always assumed history made great people. After completion- I’ve altered this view- sometimes great people can bend history to their will. Lady Thatcher accomplished this feat.

  23. 4 out of 5

    JoJo

    An interesting insight to the woman and the time when she was leader in the UK.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    Interesting reminiscing but very dry. BBC Radio 4 abridgement.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Christian

    This is one of my favorite books and I will read it again.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Esmeralda_Lattes And Literature

    Used for research paper. A wonderful and informative resource.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Igor Zurimendi

    Though it does go into excessive detail, it's remarkably well-balanced (particularly on Europe). Though it does go into excessive detail, it's remarkably well-balanced (particularly on Europe).

  28. 4 out of 5

    Robin Fox

    Her later years as Prime Minister, and her life after Downing Street analysed with a detail she would be proud of.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jane Griffiths

    The ultimate political biography This is masterly. It changed my view of her in some important ways. Herself Alone, the title of the the third and last volume, is so true. How she was. Fascinating, accomplished, at times moving. One of the great prime ministers ever, and I say this was a non-supporter.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Simon Creary

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