Margaret Thatcher: The Authorized Biography, Volume One: Not For Turning
Charles Moore's biography of Margaret Thatcher, published after her death on 8 April 2013, immediately supersedes all earlier books written about her. At the moment when she becomes a historical ...
Charles Moore's biography of Margaret Thatcher, published after her death on 8 April 2013, immediately supersedes all earlier books written about her. At the moment when she becomes a historical figure, this book also makes her into a three dimensional one for the first time. It gives unparalleled insight into her early life and formation, especially through her extensive correspondence with her sister, which Moore is the first author to draw on. It recreates brilliantly the atmosphere of British politics as she was making her way, and takes her up to what was arguably the zenith of her power, victory in the Falklands. (This volume ends with the Falklands Dinner in Downing Street in November 1982).
Moore is clearly an admirer of his subject, but he does not shy away from criticising her or identifying weaknesses and mistakes where he feels it is justified. Based on unrestricted access to all Lady Thatcher's papers, unpublished interviews with her and all her major colleagues, this is the indispensable, fully rounded portrait of a towering figure of our times.
"A masterpiece of clear and intelligent writing...Margaret Thatcher: From Grantham to the Falklands is already one of the great classic political biographies." -John O'Sullivan, The Weekly Standard
"It's an incredible level of access....Margaret Thatcher: From Grantham to the Falklands is the first of two volumes, and it presents a remarkable and richly detailed portrait." -Craig Fehrman, Boston Globe
"Thatcher was a remarkable politician and Moore does justice to her distinctive qualities." -David Runciman, London Review of Books
"Moore presents us with enough new material to offer a fresh, even vulnerable person behind the mythology...Moore's writing is often elegant and vivid, particularly when he escapes the burden of authorized biographer by turning to commentary on Thatcher's behavior and decisions." -Jane Merrick, TheIndependent
"Charles Moore gives a unique insight into his iconic subject...Startling." -Richard Preston, The Telegraph
"A notable landmark...meticulously researched and gracefully expounded...It is not the only biography to appear so opportunely, but Moore writes with greater freedom, insight, and objectivity...Both ideologically and personally, we now have a better understanding of the remarkable figure who became Britain's first woman prime minister." -Peter Clark, Financial Times
"Highly readable." -Joe Murphy, London Evening Standard
"[Moore] is not afraid to address the contradictions and tease out the inconsistencies of his subject. Nor to be critical, sometimes deeply so. The result is to paint a much more multidimensional portrait of Thatcher than the caricature heroine adored by the right or the devil incarnate loathed by the left...The prose is intricate, elegant and laced with dry humor...immensely adds to our knowledge and understanding of the longest-reigning prime minister of the democratic age." -Andrew Rawnsley, The Observer
"Moore has produced a biography so masterly--so packed with fascinating detail, with such a strong narrative drive, propelled by a central character who is at the same time both very bizarre and very conventional--that it comes as close as biography can come to being a work of art...Friends and foes of Thatcher, and agnostics and sceptics too, will all find plenty on which to feast. On virtually every page there is a revelation that, had it been known at the time, would have blasted all the rest of the news off the front pages...This book is a triumph of diligence. Moore interviewed 315 people, and was clearly blessed with the knack of getting them to open up. Ribald insults, gossip, political secrets, private grievances and funny stories--many of them very, very funny--fly off every page. But it is also a triumph of narrative art and human understanding, at its centre a peculiar force of nature, never to be repeated...one of the greatest political biographies ever written." -The Daily Mail
"[Moore] has discharged the first part of his commission superbly. He has marshalled a huge range of sources, many of them new, without letting himself be swamped... He has spoken to practically everyone who ever had anything to do with her, and interweaves their recollections skilfully to bring out wider themes... If the second volume, charting her mounting hubris and eventual nemesis, maintains this quality it will be a tremendous achievement." -John Campbell, TheIndependent
"The authorized, remarkably evenhanded biography of the grimly divisive, late Iron Lady of Britain...Well balanced. We look forward to the planned sequel."
"Moore's pace, his fascination, and his command of detail never slacken. This is a masterly piece of work." - Matthew Parris, The Times
"Charles Moore is the perfect biographer: thorough, empathetic, enquiring, and eloquent. This is the portrayal of a life well-lived, explored in a book well-written." - Sunday Express
"A life's work of research and interviewing." - Independent on Sunday
"An immensely readable account of the greatest political life of the second half of the 20th century." - Patrick O'Flynn, Daily Express
"It's hard to imagine anyone, even the most anti-Thatcherite, finding this dull...it sparkles with insight, drama, and wit." -Daily Mail
"There are, of course, plenty of good books about Mrs. Thatcher. But Moore's is comfortably the best: indeed, with its elegant prose, dry wit, prodigious research and careful judgments, it is one of the best political biographies I have ever read." - Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times
"Now comes the first volume of an authorized biography that may well turn out to be one of the great lives of modern times...It is not often that you can say of a 900-page book that it leaves you wanting to read more. But in this case it is true." -The Economist
"Good biographies, and this is an exceptionally good one, tell us things we did not know about the life of their subject." - New Statesman
"This is not just a good book--it's a great one...What gives this work the edge is not just Moore's deep knowledge of and affection for his subject--it is the sheer amount of work he has done. The number of interviews he has conducted is simply staggering. Yet although huge, it quite dances along and because of his very pronounced sense of the absurd, often makes us laugh out loud." - A.N. Wilson, London Evening Standard.