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The Path to Power (Margaret Thatcher's Memoirs #1)

3.9  ·  Rating details ·  317 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews

In her international bestseller, The Downing Street Years, Margaret Thatcher provided an acclaimed account of her years as Prime Minister. This second volume reflects on the early years of her life and how they influenced her political career.

Paperback, 672 pages
Published July 25th 1996 by HarperCollins (first published June 1st 1995)
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I hestitate to publicly reveal that I've read Margaret Thatcher's autobiography, lest anyone accuse me of sympathizing with her political philosophy. The woman has fascinated me for as long as I can remember.
Jul 15, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was not able to finish this book, which is an extremely rare event for me. The dullness of Thatcher's writing style is quite unbearable.
Nov 11, 2010 rated it liked it

Margaret Thatcher, the first Woman Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was in power from 1979 to 1990. During these twelve years, she was the leader of the Conservative party in England and ruled with an Iron Fist, earning her the name “The Iron Lady”. In her autobiography The Path to Power, Margaret Thatcher chronicles her life, from her Methodist father to her days on 10 Downing Street.

Margaret was born in 1925 in Grantham in the United Kingdom to Alfred and Ethel Roberts. Margaret was very

Dec 12, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
Autobiography in the true sense tracing her life before she became Prime Minister. Interesting read for fans of the Iron Lady and/or the British Conservative Party
Aug 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
It's succinct as she is...
It's intelligent as she is ...
It's candid as she is ...
It's profound as she is...
It's impacting as she is ...
Above all and to my surprise it's deeply inspirational.
Aug 05, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Thatcher's pre-political life was, by and large, rather dull, and certainly not worthy of 600 pages. A better writer could have made the occasional gem sparkle (and indeed Charles Moore appears to have managed this) but a boring subject matter discussed at length in an equally tedious writing style results in a long hard slog that isn't worth the effort unless you are a student of political history.
Rob Markley
Sep 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
A politician laid bare for her convictions rather than mere expediency and thirst for power! Thatcher was clearly one of the most clear headed and incisive leaders ever. She deserves far more credit than she has been given but future centuries will see better
Oct 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Memorie di ferro

Non una passeggiata, queste memorie della Baronessa Thatcher, ma non per questo meno belle o meno avvincenti. Pubblicato a pochi anni di distanza da quel giorno del 1990 in cui il suo stesso partito le fece le scarpe, dopo ben 15 anni di leadership conservatrice e 11 di governo in qualità di Primo Ministro. Come le sue memorie ci mostrano bene, il percorso che la portò ai vertici del partito tory non fu privo di difficoltà.
Figlia di commercianti, abituata al duro lavoro sin da
So far as I'm aware, Margaret Thatcher (the English Prime Minister from 1979 to 1990) wrote her biography in 2 parts. One focused on the 11 years she spent in power. This book focuses (mainly) on her rise to power.

This book feels dated, but perhaps I shouldn't be surprised by that. Here she's looking at her like from the 1930s to the 1970s (when she's about to win the election). There isn't too much discussion of the 1930s though, because she was very young for a lot of that period. She attended
Mar 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
Overall, a great book that provides the type of insight only a world leader can, first-hand, about his or her career. This is actually Baroness Thatcher's second autobiography but it covers the trajectory of her life from childhood to college, her early career as a chemist and then a lawyer and later her role in politics up to her election as Prime Minister. Her other book, written first, The Downing Street Years covers her 11 years as a head of state.

I would suggest this book not only to fans
I have read other biographies of the "Iron Lady" which I found more interesting. This book would be more interesting to a person form England than to others around the world simply because it delves heavily in to British local politics and although many of the political figures have some recognition the book is overwhelmingly full of local politicos that became tedious to some unfamiliar with British politics. An example would be if an American President did his memoir and filled it with electio ...more
Apr 10, 2010 rated it really liked it
At 600-plus pages, this was no page-turner. Nor does it cover her years as Prime Minister, which she does in "The Downing Street Years". But it is a great read for those interested in Britain's political system and a good basis for its comparison with our own. Of particular interest to me was her battles with unions, which by the time she became PM were pretty much in control of the British economy. I'll tackle "The Downing Street Years" to find out how she broke the unions and her perspective o ...more
Feb 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A relentlessly fascinating autobiography of one of the most important people in British history. Although I cannot say I agree with her on all things, or even on many things at all (her views on comprehensive schools and her advocating of grammar schools made me extremely angry, since I have experienced at first hand the dangers of this social divide and earnestly long for the complete abolition of selective education). However, it is clear her values were sincere and grounded in an unwavering b ...more
Laura Edwards
Dec 14, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
This book started out so interesting before Margaret Thatcher got bogged down in the intricacies of British politics. Hardly surprising, I know, for a P.M. But since I'm not really well-versed in British government, it made getting through large parts of the book a real chore. In fact, I decided to take a break about halfway through (hopefully I will pick it back up again one day and finish). It just grew too tedious having Mrs. Thatcher explain each piece of policy she played a part in, in minu ...more
Wendie Berry
Nov 29, 2016 rated it did not like it
When I say read, I really mean gave up. Rarely do I start a book and then discard it. I tried really hard with this one. I found the movie Iron Lady interesting and wanted to learn more about Margaret. This book was not the way to learn about her. Endless lists of political names and policies that maybe I would have recognized if I was British. Unfortunately this book was dry, and I was unable to follow it or become interested. So for me it's a bad review even though I didn't actually finish the ...more
Feb 18, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting book which gives an interesting insight into Mrs Thatcher's life before office, and goes some way to explaining the formation of the principles that became Thatcherism. However the book is a little long (but not as bad as 'The Downing Street Years'), and at times she seems to be justifying her actions rather than explaining why she took them and thinking what she would have done differently.
Jan 17, 2014 rated it liked it
In India, we have hardly hard any economic liberal politicians at the national level. Naturally, wanted to know about Thatcher who was also considered polarising and tough. But, after an interesting beginning, it becomes a little tedious to keep reading about those cabinet reshuffled and the technical details of strikes and economic policies esp as my nationality is different. Still, plan to read 'Downing Street Years' too.
Tracy Walters
May 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
What an incredible Iron Lady! This booth was both fascinating and a bit boring. Let me qualify the boring...Not being familiar with the British Parlimentary system and politicians made some parts of Book I read like a phone book. You need to take the time to look up unfamiliar things so the book makes more sense. Book II was much more interesting and easy to read because she discussed her values and philosophy.
Burt Schoeppe
May 18, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very interesting read.

I started reading this book when Thatcher passed. Her belief in her own political viewpoint and willingness to work to achieve her beliefs is admirable. Very much shaped the 80s and was a true fit for the times.

Definitely a good read and I am glad I read it before The Downing Street Years, which I am eagerly looking forward to.
Jun 14, 2009 rated it liked it
She's fascinating, and her writing is clear, lucid, and interesting - but the book is just. too. long. Unfortunately, it just became a trial to lift that thing up off the table. I think I'll have to finish it on audio book.
Jul 05, 2013 added it
Very interesting book, but it got a little tedious. Although, we are all entwined in global politics, I decided I might be better served to read US history. I did end up bouncing to different chapters of the book. She had some great insights and policies. I have a lot of respect for her.
May 04, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book I have ever read relating to Politics, found it quite difficult as such but am glad I persevered and challenged myself. I've learnt a lot! Enjoyed the chapter on MT's childhood the most. I don't care what people say, I still think she was a babe.
May 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Describes the path that Margareth Tatcher has taken before becoming prime minister according to facts, although you clearly see what her thoughts were on policies afterwards. I recommend it definitely to all of those interested in Margareth Tatcher.
Nov 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
What a remarkable woman; able to defy odds and stereotypes, all while keeping her sense of humor. Ms. Thatcher proves to be powerful, yet vulnerable enough to love deeply. Hard choices and her superb decision-making skills laid the groundwork for much of the UK's socio-economic policies today.
Lize Fromely
Oct 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
A memoir of her childhood and early political career, in The Path to Power you realise what an astonishing journey she had.
Richard Thomas
The cynic might say that it took a lot of print to say 'I was right on everything all along' in 2 volumes. Worth reading but ...
Apr 06, 2011 marked it as to-read
This book has no emotion. Margaret Thatcher has no emotions or feelings. Its really kind of sad.
Feb 20, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good but not as good as the main volume covering her time in power which is far better written. Could easily be missed unless you want the full story
May 03, 2008 rated it really liked it
Lady Thatcher's biography of becoming the first female British PM.
Hengest Svensson
Feb 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Fascinating. This book is much better than her tome on the Downing Street Years.
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Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, LG, OM, PC, FRS (née Roberts) was a British politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990 and Leader of the Conservative Party from 1975 to 1990. She was the first and to date only woman to hold either post.

Born in Grantham in Lincolnshire, England, she went on to read Chemistry at Somerville College, Oxford. She was sel
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Other Books in the Series

Margaret Thatcher's Memoirs (2 books)
  • Margaret Thatcher: The Autobiography
“There are significant differences between the American and European version of capitalism. The American traditiionally emphasizes the need for limited government, light regulations, low taxes and maximum labour-market flexibility. Its success has been shown above all in the ability to create new jobs, in which it is consistently more successful than Europe.” 54 likes
“Law and order is a social service. Crime and the fear which the threat of crime induces can paralyse whole communities, keep lonely and vulnerable elderly people shut up in their homes, scar young lives and raise to cult status the swaggering violent bully who achieves predatory control over the streets. I suspect that there would be more support and less criticism than today's political leaders imagine for a large shift of resources from Social Security benefits to law and order - as long as rhetoric about getting tough on crime was matched by practice.” 12 likes
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