Tuesday, 15 September 2009

'Thatcher' by Clare Beckett

This is one of a series profiling the 20 British Prime Ministers of the 20th Century. It is a short book (merely 130 pages of text), further padded with notes, a chronology and further reading. It is a competent little summary, and manages to be fairly neutral; an unusual achievement for writers about Thatcher who seems to inspire strong contrary reactions. The book in quite sympathetic and revealing about her upbringing, though most of it is lifted from Thatcher’s first volume of autobiography “The path to power”. It paints Thatcher’s career as ending in failure, and it is true that her abrupt end was hurtful and brutal. As someone once remarked, all political careers end in failure.

The book is too insubstantial for my taste, and not able to explore the intricacies of some of her most difficult decisions, and the far reaching changes she achieved in the commercial / entrepreneurial life of our country. Personally, I am a great Thatcher fan, so I could not be satisfied that the book did justice to her achievements. The book is written without any real passion, and is not ultimately very satisfying. So I don’t extend a recommendation to read it.

No comments: