How did Margaret Thatcher change and divide Britain? How did her model of combative female leadership help shape the way we live now? How did the woman who won the Cold War and three general elections in succession find herself pushed out by her own MPs?
Charles Moore's full account, based on unique access to Margaret Thatcher herself, her papers and her closest associates, tells the story of her last period in office, her combative retirement and the controversy that surrounded her even in death. It includes the Fall of the Berlin Wall which she had fought for and the rise of the modern EU which she feared. It lays bare her growing quarrels with colleagues and reveals the truth about her political assassination.
Moore's three-part biography of Britain's most important peacetime prime minister paints an intimate political and personal portrait of the victories and defeats, the iron will but surprising vulnerability of the woman who dominated in an age of male power. This is the full, enthralling story.
Charles Moore joined the staff of the Daily Telegraph in 1979, and as a political columnist in the 1980s covered several years of Mrs Thatcher's first and second governments. He was Editor of the Spectator 1984-90; Editor of the Sunday Telegraph 1992-95; and Editor of the Daily Telegraph 1995-2003, for which he is still a regular columnist. The first volume of his biography of Margaret Thatcher, published in 2013, won the Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Biography, the HW Fisher Best First Biography Prize and Political Book of the Year at the Paddy Power Political Book Awards.
One of the great biographical achievements of our times -- Dominic Sandbrook Sunday Times As close as biography can come to being a work of art -- Craig Brown Mail on Sunday Praise for the first two volumes : The third and final volume of the much-acclaimed official biography of Margaret Thatcher ... this book has real contemporary resonance. -- Tom Barber Financial Times Books of the Year Sparkling, scholarly, revelatory and at times desperately sad, this is a triumphant conclusion to the official biography of the Iron Lady -- Asa Bennett Daily Telegraph Books of the Year a superb work of contemporary history and perceptive biography -- Antony Beevor Spectator Books of the Year Rejoice! Rejoice! With this final, third volume of his magnificent account of Margaret Thatcher's life and work, Charles Moore politely takes his place in the front rank of political biographers -- Roland White Sunday Times Political Book of the Year a remarkable achievement, impressive in ambition, scope and depth. Moore's book breaks a lot of new ground, drawing on hundreds of interviews and newly released official and private papers, to complete a trilogy of titanic proportions-a cumulative text of nearly 3,000 pages, the writing of which has consumed more than 20 years of the author's life. ... In this landmark book, Moore takes us into the heart of Thatcher's world-from the zenith of her power to her unhappy departure from Downing Street ... this book is superbly evocative of those stirring times. -- Anthony Teasdale Prospect insightful... beautifully and sensitively written ... Moore was privileged in having unique access to both the papers and the people needed to get to the heart of the stories. Cabinet secretaries and other officials have spoken to him with unprecedented candour, making the book a page-turner. -- Brian Griffiths Standpoint With ethical and scholarly discipline, Moore ... has produced a scrupulously evenhanded work. His use of evidence, absorbed from vast archival sources and hundreds of interviews, is punctilious, his judgements measured, his wit dry and sympathetic, his prose classically balanced. This sonorous, authoritative biography makes no empty claim to definitiveness. But it is a work for the ages: It will be the font from which every serious appraisal of Thatcher and Thatcher's Britain draws. -- Benjamin Schwarz New York Times Although the story is familiar, it is told here with thrilling pace as well as devastating detail. ... Charles's elegance of mind is matched by a moral purpose which is serious, but never solemn. ... his distinction as a biographer lies in a novelist's grasp of character allied to a magpie's eye for telling detail. -- Allison Pearson Sunday Telegraph magnificent ... He is right too to make clear the affection and respect which many who worked for Thatcher felt for this pigheaded, formidable, vulnerable, maddening, brave and patriotic woman, and how many of them really loved her even - perhaps especially - in her tragic final decline. She did not always choose her colleagues well; but she chose well when she appointed Moore to his gargantuan task. -- William Waldegrave Financial Times beautifully told... Moore is a peerless guide to the Thatcher years because he is wholly at home in this world. The three volumes of his biography stand comparison with Robert Caro's Life of Lyndon Johnson in their ability to show us how power works from the inside. -- David Runciman London Review of Books This is a magnificent political biography which takes its place next to Robert Blake's Disraeli and Robert Caro's Lyndon Johnson on the highest level. Outstanding... superb... extraordinarily compelling. -- Philip Hensher Spectator a magnificent biography - the completion of 22 years' toil. It is a treasure chest and a masterpiece of research.... This will ride high in the pantheon of modern political biographies for many a year to come, because the prime minister at its heart is revealed and explained in brilliant style. -- James Naughtie Tablet an extraordinary achievement: panoramic and particular, underpinned by a deep grasp of contemporary politics. -- Craig Brown Daily Mail Among the many impressive achievements of all three volumes of Mr. Moore's splendid biography is how well he brings out the human side of such a profoundly political individual. ... First of all, there is the exemplary meticulousness of the research. Then there is the gracefulness of the prose, which, though formal, is rarely pompous and is an ideal match for his subject, who detested casualness. But most important, Mr. Moore has over the course of three volumes skilfully navigated the treacherous waters that are inevitable for the authorized biographer of a figure who still excites such opposite extremes of admiration and loathing. ... For in Charles Moore this titanic figure of British history has found a biographer whose mastery of both subject and form is complete. This is a biography for the ages. -- Richard Aldous Wall Street Journal Like the grandest of operas, Charles Moore's magnificent record of Margaret Thatcher's life comes in three acts. ... Now comes the third, the dramatic climax as the orchestra belts out tunes to a plot of betrayal, disaster and a lonely death. -- Julian Glover Evening Standard The final volume of this monumental biography is gripping and revealing... Some parts have a novelistic quality rarely found in the careful pages of political biographies. -- Andy Beckett Guardian Moore's project is a study of detailed depth, and fine and transparent judgements, which rises to the largeness of a figure and a time that were of world significance -- John Lloyd Financial Times Moore's Margaret Thatcher is one of the truly great biographies. Throughout the three volumes it has been comprehensive and subtle, breaking new ground while being surefooted on familiar terrain. He provides a portrait of Thatcher - her anxiousness and her certainty, her strength and her frailty - that is surprising and fresh while still convincing. This volume completes a historical masterpiece. -- Daniel Finkelstein The Times Reviewers are supposed never to use the word "definitive" about a history book or biograph, but with Charles Moore's life of Margaret Thatcher, of which this is the triumphant last volume, one has no other option. ... an absolute masterpiece of the biographer's art. -- Andrew Roberts Daily Telegraph Moore has finally completed one of the most thrilling, comprehensive, fair-minded and elegantly written biographies of modern times. It is full of complex argument, and a very large cast, but it is a joy to read. -- Andrew Marr New Statesman
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