Jose's Reviews > The Iron Lady: Margaret Thatcher, from Grocer's Daughter to Prime Minister

The Iron Lady by John Campbell
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's review
Mar 16, 2012

it was ok
Read from February 20 to 27, 2012

This book is written well so it gets one star. It is also thorough and expounds on the research with accuracy. So another star. Is it biased? Meh. Not too badly. It gives Thatcher a lot of credit but also points out her flaws, both political and,may be, personal. What this book fails at is aiding the reader along with the intricacies of the British political system and assuming he/she knows more than the average person about British culture in general and politics in particular. Sure, one could go get a treatise on British Law and read up on electoral mechanisms, party rules, the meaning of monetarism and the situation of mining in England at the end of the twentieth century. Throw in a roster of every MP, Cabinet member and politician. Why not add a few books on Hayek, Reaganomics, the I.R.A., Rhodesia's colonial past, the European Community,the Cambridge 5 , etc,... In other words, this book is written for people that either lived Thatcherism directly and participated in British political life or know an awful lot already and just want to see where Margaret Thatcher fits in all of it.
It does describe Thatcher's philosophy in big strokes and her deeds in quite some detail but leaves the bast area of "context" practically untouched. I understand this is an abbreviated 500 page version of a 1200 page work. Even if that is so, there must be more readable materials out there. This book doesn't really become interesting until about chapter 10. I wasn't expecting a novel exactly, Thatcher's life and personality were not the matter for flights of imagination, but her influence in politics deserves a more engaging story telling and a wider lens.
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02/20/2012 page 60
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