#Highly Recommended《Bran-New + Hardcover Collection Edition》Jonathan Aitken - MARGARET THATCHER : POWER AND PERSONALITY
This Classic & international bestseller in hardcover collection edition is a bran-new book and still wrapped with new-book wrapper. The original new book is sold at usual price RM150.68. Now here Only at RM45. As Britain's first woman Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher brought about the biggest social and political revolution in the nation's post-war history. She achieved this largely by the driving force of her personality – a subject of endless speculation among both her friends and her foes. A strong and sometimes divisive figure in British and world politics, Margaret Thatcher was the longest-serving British Prime Minister in the 20th century and the only woman to ever hold the office. Drawing from an abundance of new, previously unpublished material from the Thatcher Archive at Churchill College, Cambridge, Jonathan Aitken's fresh and original biography is a lively and perceptive exploration of the personality that dominated conservative British politics for more than 10 years and her profound and worldwide impact on the historical tapestry of her time. At once positive and critical in its assessment of her governance, Margaret Thatcher: Power and Personality is crafted from the author's longtime personal relationship with his subject, his eyewitness account of public and private episodes in her life, and more than 100 interviews with the former Prime Minister's political colleagues and close personal friends. Penetrating and insightful, it chronicles one of the most remarkable political lives of our time. Jonathan Aitken has an insider's view of Margaret Thatcher's story. He is well qualified to explore her strong and sometimes difficult personality during half a century of political dramas. From first meeting her when she was a junior shadow minister in the mid 1960s, during her time as leader of the Opposition when he was a close family friend, and as a Member of Parliament throughout her years in power, Aitken had a ring side seat at many private and public spectacles in the Margaret Thatcher saga. From his unique vantage point, Aitken brings new light to many crucial episodes of Thatcherism. They include her ousting of Ted Heath, her battles with her Cabinet, the Falklands War, the Miners' Strike, her relationships with world leaders such as Ronald Reagan, Mikhail Gorbachev and King Fahd of Saudi Arabia and the build up to the Shakespearian coup inside the Conservative Party which brought about her downfall. Drawing on his own diaries, and a wealth of extensive research including some ninety interviews which range from international statesmen like Mikhail Gorbachev, Henry Kissinger and Lord Carrington to many of her No.10 private secretaries and personal friends, Jonathan Aitken's Margaret Thatcher – Power and Personality breaks new ground as a fresh and fascinating portrait of the most influential political leader of post-war Britain. The fact that Thatcher’s funeral procession was greeted with more cheers than protest, though the reverse was expected, attests to the mixed emotions she elicited in life. She was the only woman to serve as prime minister of Britain and the longest-serving PM in the twentieth century, such a hard-edged conservative that she was known as the Iron Lady. Aitken, a former member of Parliament, served for a time with Thatcher but also dated her daughter and knew the PM on a more personal level. That mixture of professional and personal relationships with Thatcher affords him a close-up, long-term perspective on one of the most powerful women in recent history, with a hand in major economic and geopolitical changes. Drawing on archival material, interviews, and personal knowledge, Aitken chronicles the “metamorphosis from humble beginnings to grandeur; from humility to hubris; from a realistic courage in fighting her corner to a reckless Ride of the Valkyries.” He chronicles her strict childhood, marriage, political rise, and relationships with figures including Presidents Reagan and George H. W. Bush and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. A woman of steely discipline and determination, powerful on the international stage, she eventually ran afoul of local politics in a dispute within her party. Aitken admits to a complex admiration of Thatcher, having seen her at her best and her worst, in this thoroughly insightful and compelling look at a remarkable world figure. This is an outstanding and perceptive account of the life of Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who led her Conservative Party to victory in three separate elections over a period of 11 years. Jonathan Aiken, the author, worked with and around PM Thatcher, serving initially as a Conservative Member of Parliament. From the backbenches of Westminster, Aiken watched the Prime Minister perform at her best and at her worst. Aiken also dated Thatcher's daughter for three years, and, thus, had personal insight into the PM's homelife. Finally, because he often agreed with the PM's conservative policies, he found himself frequently in occasions where he could have one-on-one conversations with the PM. The sub-title of the book is well worded. Throughout her political career, Thatcher was dominated by the pursuit and holding of power, while at the same time, her powerful personality served her both well and poorly. Thatcher's strong conservative political views drove her to some of her major triumphs: ● the decision to fight the Argentines for possession of the Falkland Islands; ● the decision to go toe to toe with the powerful unions of Britain, especialy the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM); ● her successful rehabilitation of the British economy; ● her refusal to allow Britain to participate in the European Monetary Unit system for fear of losing sovereignty; ● her role in bringing the U.S. and the USSR (Reagan and Gorbachev) to the bargaining table, which ultimately led to the destruction of an entire class of nuclear weapons and the eventual end of the Cold War. She was a politician who did not brook easily with opposition, whether it be within her cabinet, within her party, with the opposition, or with foreign leaders with whom she did not agree. She held strongly held views of what was right and in many cases, it was "her way or the highway." In cabinet meetings, she did most of the talking, insisting on her policies. She seldom sought the views of her cabinet ministers and preferred to rely on individuals outside the government who held views identical to hers and who she would then bring on to her personal staff at 10 Downing St. She was often mean-spirited, especially in addressing fellow politicians - including cabinet ministers, yet she would go out of her way to care for her staff and their families. She knew what she believed in, and she virtually dared for anyone to oppose her. With each successive election won by the Conservative Party, Thatcher grew in hubris and the tendency to go her own way. In the end, she lost the Prime Ministership, not through an election defeat by the people, but by the members of her own party, who essentially staged a coup and voted her out of her role as head of the Party. She was succeeded by John Majors, her preferred choice as PM, but in the years following his entering the Prime Ministership, she seemingly worked hard to undermine his various initiatives. She was a very poor loser. In addition to being a very insightful view of Thatcher's political career, the book is fascinating for an American who is not familiar with the British Government and its operations. Unlike an American President who picks his own cabinet members, who then serve at his pleasure, the British cabinet appears to be made up of the senior members of the ruling party, and it is not a given that all cabinet ministers share the views of the PM. This was a constant irritant for Thatcher, who often presided over a government of squabbling ministers, many of whom had their own agendas, not least of which for some was becoming PM themselves. This did not make for easy sailing and coordination in the Cabinet. Between the system and Thatcher's dominant will and personality, the possibility of clashes and arguments was endless. Despite her weaknesses, Margaret Thatcher will likely be remembered as one of the most powerful and successful prime ministers that Britain has had. This book is a must-read, if one wishes to understand the eleven years during which she held the office. About Authors Jonathan Aitken, a former MP and cabinet minister, is the author of 12 books, including his award-winning biography of President Richard Nixon. His recent titles published by Continuum include Pride and Perjury, Psalms for People under Pressure, Prayers for People under Pressure, Charles W. Colson: A Life Redeemed, Heroes and Contemporaries, Nazarbayev and the Making of Kazakhstan and Kazakhstan: Surprises and Stereotypes.
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