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.
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Number of pages: 784
Weight: 1166 g
Dimensions: 234 x 153 x 61 mm
The most readable, most entertaining book on Thatcher I've read, and probably the most illuminating. -- Alwyn Turner * Daily Telegraph *
A magnificent work - highly readable, carefully researched and above all brutally honest. -- Chris Mullin * Mail on sunday *
One day we might reach a reasonable assessment of Thatcher... This book, by an alarmingly candid friend, will go a long way towards helping find that balance. -- Simon Hoggart * The Guardian *
Shrewd and compelling... [Aitken's account of] the hubris, machinations and miscalculations that led to Margaret Thatcher's downfall has real dramatic pace. -- John Campbell * Sunday Times *
Aitken is an accomplished biographer and wordsmith. This book is highly readable and highly recommended. -- Neil Hamilton * Sunday Express *
Splendidly honest -- Jon Henley * The Guardian *