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Thatcher and Sons: A Revolution in Three Acts

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  106 ratings  ·  12 reviews
The history of Britain in the last thirty years, under both Conservative and Labour governments, has been dominated by one figure – Margaret Thatcher. Her election marked a decisive break with the past and her premiership transformed not just her country, but the nature of democratic leadership. Simon Jenkins analyses this revolution from its beginnings in the turmoil of t ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published September 6th 2007 by Penguin (first published 2006)
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David Whyte
Sep 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book expresses the underlying views held by many people regarding the damage cased by Thatcherism to the fabric of British society. The lurch to the right facilitate by Thatcher's rise and the continuation of her policies by Blair and Brown served to confirm the end of 'principled politics' in the U.K. The aim of a politician now is to retain power, not to embrace or enact political philosophies, views, or ideals. Such is modern political practice and reality. The author captures the sequen ...more
Nov 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent, important book. It takes a serious and careful look at the effect of the policies of Thatcher and her successors, looks behind the rhetoric and assesses the results. It is not a polemic, but almost forensic in its analysis. Important ideas to understand and debate, even more so than when it was written.
Richard Barnes
May 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
A fascinating book - detailing how the hype from the politicians often translates to the exact opposite in practice.

Thatcher's key philosophy was the rolling back of the state - carving up the perceived lumbering edifice of the welfare state to the more efficient principles of the free market; yet in effect, responsibility was privatised but control was ever more centralised.

Without doubt, in comparison to the state-run economy of 1970's Britain, where almost every facet of heavy industry was in
Gareth Evans
Feb 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Fascinating exploration of recent history considering the two Thatcher revolutions: privatisation and less state ownership and the greatly increased centralisation of government. Thatcher comes out of this rather better than Blair; possibly because she faced issues that could be solved and had the better things to privatise. Blair comes across as a vapid opportunist interested only in power. Major is portrayed reasonably sympathetically but, of course, castigated for the botched rail privatisati ...more
Jan 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing
A brilliant book by my favourite columnist, past editor of The Times, which documents the two revolutions begun by Margaret Thatcher deploring the route being taken by the second, centralism, which Simon Jenkins wants replaced by localism. The detailed analysis of the premiersips of Thatcher, Major, Blair and now Brown is a revelation.
Christian Caryl
Apr 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Strong, critical look at recent British history in the shadow of Thatcher. Refreshing not least for its efforts to measure Thatcher's achievements against her own professed goals. Jenkins notes, for example, that the British state was actually bigger by the time Thatcher left office. A useful antidote to much of the hagiography. ...more
May 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
A fantastic read; especially for those interested in politics, history, and current events.
Sep 05, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: own
OK but a bit of a stretch.
Khairul Hezry
Oct 23, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: politics
I need to read this again. The first time I read it, I felt that it started good but became boring somewhere in the middle and never recovered.
Oct 23, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Obviously I loved this book, otherwise why would I have read it four times? oh wait, it's my job? oh right. I'm probably not a reliable witness. ...more
Julia Bindman
Jun 03, 2008 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Just started this yesterday after recommendation by friend. So far, so interesting.
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Simon Jenkins is the author of the international bestsellers England’s Thousand Best Churches and England’s Thousand Best Houses, the former editor of The Times and Evening Standard and a columnist for the Guardian. He is chairman of the National Trust.

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