Margaret Thatcher: Power and Personality

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A&C Black, 2013 - Biography & Autobiography - 764 pages
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As Britain's first woman Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher brought about the biggest social and political revolution in the nation's post-war history. She achieved this largely by the driving force of her personality - a subject of endless speculation among both her friends and her foes.Jonathan Aitken has an insider's view of Margaret Thatcher's story. He is well qualified to explore her strong and sometimes difficult personality during half a century of political dramas. From first meeting her when she was a junior shadow minister in the mid 1960s, during her time as leader of the Opposition when he was a close family friend, and as a Member of Parliament throughout her years in power, Aitken had a ring side seat at many private and public spectacles in the Margaret Thatcher saga.From his unique vantage point, Aitken brings new light to many crucial episodes of Thatcherism. They include her ousting of Ted Heath, her battles with her Cabinet, the Falklands War, the Miners' Strike, her relationships with world leaders such as Ronald Reagan, Mikhail Gorbachev and King Fahd of Saudi Arabia and the build up to the Shakespearian coup inside the Conservative Party which brought about her downfall.Drawing on his own diaries, and a wealth of extensive research including some ninety interviews which range from international statesmen like Mikhail Gorbachev, Henry Kissinger and Lord Carrington to many of her No.10 private secretaries and personal friends, Jonathan Aitken's Margaret Thatcher - Power and Personality breaks new ground as a fresh and fascinating portrait of the most influential political leader of post-war Britain.
 

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MARGARET THATCHER: Power and Personality

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

An admiring biography of the Iron Lady by a former "Tory back-bencher" who played a role in her government.Admiring it is, but Aitken's (Pride and Perjury: An Autobiography, 2003, etc.) life of ... Read full review

Contents

Prologue
1
1 The early years
9
2 The war grammar school and fighting her headmistress
27
3 Oxford boyfriends and political ambition
40
4 First steps in politics
54
5 Marriage motherhood and Finchley
71
6 First years in Parliament 19591964
87
7 Frontbench opposition
109
24 Terrorism Ireland and Hong Kong
407
25 Batting for Britain in Saudi Arabia
426
26 Unions and miners
439
27 Strengthening the Special Relationship with Ronald Reagan
460
28 Starting to win the Cold War
474
29 Rumblings of discontent
500
30 Into the third term
521
31 Trouble with Nigel Lawson
538

8 Secretary of State for Education
126
9 Heath on the ropes
142
10 Winning the leadership
156
A fragile beginning
176
12 Three frustrating years
194
13 Last lap to the election
211
14 The final ascent to No 10
229
15 First moves as Prime Minister
248
16 The learning curve
261
17 First steps in foreign affairs
283
18 Storm clouds on the economy and in the cabinet
300
The prelude
321
Into the fighting
344
Victory
359
22 After the Falklands
372
23 Stumbling into the second term
390
32 Swinging towards Euroscepticism
555
33 Boiling over on Europe
569
34 Exit the Chancellor enter the stalking horse
582
35 Countdown to the coup
598
36 End game
617
37 Exit
633
38 The agony after the fall
653
39 Snapshots of her retirement years
668
Epilogue
683
Bibliography
693
Principal sources
698
Notes describing sources
701
Index
749
plate section 1
765
plate section 2
773
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About the author (2013)

Jonathan Aitken, a former Member of Parliament and cabinet minister, is the author of 12 books, including his award-winning biography of President Richard Nixon. His recent titles include "Pride and Perjury" and "Nazarbayev and the Making of Kazakhstan." He lives in London.

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