David Carraturo's Reviews > Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher: A Political Marriage

Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher by Nicholas Wapshott
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's review
Jan 15, 2012

really liked it
Read from May 25 to October 12, 2012

I found this book very insightful but a bit frustrating. I enjoyed the underlying story of the friendship of the two leaders, Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. I also found the details behind the many geopolitical and economic policy decisions made to be quite interesting. A few things did bother me though I would still recommend this to any political wonk. First, it was very dry at times. The beginning chapters about the respective leaders rise to political fame was engrossing, but once the meat of the story came around my intensity and excitement to read was dialed down. There was (and still is in politics) a great deal of babysitting and this book detailed how frustrating it can be to be a politician and/or world leader. They have to watch what they say & how they say it, as other world leaders are like children and take the slightest offense to even the most minor comment or action. While that point was made clearly throughout the book, while I was reading it I became very frustrated. Another area I found difficult to read was simply not having the general understanding and knowledge of how the U.K. political system works (and U.K. readers could say the same with the U.S.) so I was lost at times to understand the various parties and their political philosophies, country history to put it in perspective and the names of their past leaders. Again, the last two issues I had with the book had nothing to do with the writing quality (and thus my 4 star rating). So in conclusion, while a bit dry, this story tells an incredibly detailed and insightful account of the very special Reagan/Thatcher years. If you have a basic understanding of both US and UK government and history you will enjoy this. If you are coming in cold as a political novice, this book is not for you.

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Reading Progress

06/22/2012 page 105
30.0% "Great background so far, but a slow read. Absorbing as much as I can."
09/21/2012 page 226
64.0% "excellent account of many aspects to the Reagan-Thatcher relationship I never even knew existed. So much that goes on at the top levels of diplomacy. A bit of a dry read, but I will finish it and it is definitely worth the read."
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