Review Blog

Sep 02 2013

Not for turning: the life of Margaret Thatcher by Robin Harris

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Transworld Publishers, 2013. ISBN 9780593072868.
(Age: 17+) Margaret Thatcher overcame many challenges to become not only the Leader of the Conservative Party but also Britain's first female Prime Minister, and the longest serving British Prime Minster in the twentieth century. These challenges included the Falklands war, a terrorist attack on the British Cabinet and economic woes within Britain whilst in power. Robin Harris delves into Margaret Thatcher's personal life as well as her political career in portraying her as a driven and passionate individual. Her entry into the male dominated British Parliament is one of the fascinating aspects of this book, highlighting her intellectual strengths and courage. Despite being her speechwriter and close advisor Robin Harris has written a balanced and objective account of Margaret Thatcher's successes and failures as a politician and person. Her interactions involving international affairs and with other world leaders as British Prime Minister were comprehensively highlighted and in the case of General Pinochet, a united Europe and Bosnia, demonstrated her commitment to truth and justice and overwhelming loyalty to those causes she strongly believed in. Margaret Thatcher remained involved in politics after leaving office in 1990, however sadly her intellectual drive and passion to bring about change were severely curtailed not only by opposition from within the party she once led and personal money worries but also due to her Alzheimer's. The only downside to Not for turning: the life of Margaret Thatcher was the demanding vocabulary used which detracted somewhat from the overall flow of the writing itself. Recommended for university or senior school students studying politics and women's studies as a thought-provoking introduction to Margaret Thatcher; a formidable presence in British and world politics.
Tara Burton

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