Not for Turning: The Life of Margaret Thatcher

Robin Harris

Not for Turning: The Life of Margaret Thatcher

Robin Harris, for many years Thatcher's speechwriter, trusted adviser and the draftsman of two volumes of her autobiography, has now written her biography. He tells her extraordinary life story, from humble beginnings above her father's grocer's shop in Grantham, her early days as one of the first women in Westminster who became known as 'Thatcher milk-snatcher' during her days in the Ministry for Education and then as Prime Minister. We follow her through the 'Winter of Discontent', the tribulations of the miners' strike and the Falklands War, her exit from power and her life after Number 10. 3.2 out of 5 based on 6 reviews
Not for Turning: The Life of Margaret Thatcher

Omniscore:

Classification Non-fiction
Genre Biography, Society, Politics & Philosophy
Format
Pages
RRP
Date of Publication April 2013
ISBN 978-0593058916
Publisher Bantam Press
 

Robin Harris, for many years Thatcher's speechwriter, trusted adviser and the draftsman of two volumes of her autobiography, has now written her biography. He tells her extraordinary life story, from humble beginnings above her father's grocer's shop in Grantham, her early days as one of the first women in Westminster who became known as 'Thatcher milk-snatcher' during her days in the Ministry for Education and then as Prime Minister. We follow her through the 'Winter of Discontent', the tribulations of the miners' strike and the Falklands War, her exit from power and her life after Number 10.

Reviews

The Financial Times

Peter Clarke

[A] lively and accessible insider’s account. Harris sticks closer [than Charles Moore] to the Lady’s own account of her life, though with a few asides of his own, whereas Moore writes with greater freedom, insight and objectivity.

26/04/2013

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The Times

Philip Webster

Harris was determined that Not for Turning should not be a hagiography, and he succeeds in that aim, bravely broaching difficult terrain, such as Thatcher’s drinking after she left office … Harris provides delightful insights into what she really thought about the people she worked with and those who followed her.

27/04/2013

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The Guardian

Andy Beckett

In his confident generalisations about Thatcher, Harris is like a long-faithful courtier freed by a monarch's death to speak the truth about them. He is not that interested in piling up evidence for his assertions. Like an article in the Spectator, the writing can be lordly rather than logical, and the word "probably" appears more often than in most biographies. Much of the book is closer to memoir or polemic — you need to take it on trust.

27/04/2013

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The Independent

John Campbell

Harris has written a lively, loyal and unashamedly admiring study of his heroine ("The reader will discern remarkably few warts") with the great benefit of being single-volume.

03/05/2013

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The Spectator

Philip Ziegler

Harris is readable and well-informed, but on the evidence of these two books the choice of official biographer was the correct one … For those who are less dedicated, or want the whole story in a single volume, Harris’s book will serve them well.

04/05/2013

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The Sunday Times

Dominic Sandbrook

Trenchant and opinionated, his book is not in the same league as its competitor. Its most striking section is the penultimate chapter, which wallows in his subject’s “mental decay”. Indeed, it is odd that Harris condemns what he calls “the intrusive and distasteful” elements of the film The Iron Lady, since many readers might apply those words to his own book.

05/05/2013

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