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Author: Margaret Thatcher
ISBN13: 978-0002550499
Title: The Downing Street Years
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ePUB size: 1563 kb
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Language: English
Category: Leaders and Notable People
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd (October 18, 1993)
Pages: 832

The Downing Street Years by Margaret Thatcher

This first volume of Margaret Thatcher’s memoirs encompasses the whole of her time as Prime Minister - the formation of her goals in the early 1980s, the Falklands, the General Election victories of 1983 and 1987 and, eventually, the circumstances of her fall from political power.

The Downing Street Years book. First, Mrs. Thatcher’s budget measures proved remarkably effective at bringing down inflation (it ticked up again following the economic boom of the late 80s-though in The Downing Street Years, she places practically all of the blame on Chancellor Nigel Lawson’s decision to abandon monetarism for shadowing the exchange rate with the Deutschmark).

The Downing Street Years is a memoir by Margaret Thatcher, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, covering her premiership of 1979 to 1990. It was accompanied by a four-part BBC television series of the same name.

The Downing Street Years is, first and foremost, a brilliant first-hand portrayal of the events and personalities of her years in power. Her judgements of the men and women she has encountered, whether world statesmen or Cabinet colleagues, are completely, sometimes brutally, frank

The downing street years. Margaret, the lady thatcher. Denis, who was watching the result from the Opposition box on the floor of the House, shouted ‘hooray’ and was, quite properly, reproved by one of the Serjeants at arms. Through the din, however, the stentorian guards’ officer tones of Spenser Le Marchant, the 6′ 6″ Tory MP for High Peak who was famous for his intake of champagne, could be heard booming out the result - the first such defeat for a British Government in more than fifty years. We had known the figures would be close, but we had not known how close as we filed in and out of the lobbies.

This first volume of Margaret Thatcher's memoirs, which encompasses the entirety of her career as Prime Ministe. he Downing Street Years by Margaret Thatcher. What are the literary devices found in the book "The Downing Street Years" by Margaret Thatcher? What inspired Margaret Thatcher to write the book "The Downing Street Years"? What are the settings of the book "The Downing Street Years" by Margaret Thatcher? What is the legacy of Margaret Thatcher to the UK?

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The Downing Street Years. 52631578947368 19 5 Author: Margaret Thatcher Narrator: Margaret Thatcher. This first volume of Margaret Thatcher's memoirs encompasses the whole of her time as Prime Minister This first volume of Margaret Thatcher's memoirs encompasses the whole of her time as Prime Minister - the formation of her goals in the early 1980s, the Falklands, the General Election victories of 1983 and 1987 and, eventually, the circumstances of her fall from political.

This first volume of Margaret Thatcher's memoirs encompasses the whole of her time as Prime Minister - the formation of her goals in the early 1980s, the Falklands, the General Election victories of 1983 and 1987 and, eventually, the circumstances of her fall from political power. She also gives frank accounts of her dealings with foreign statesmen and her own ministers.
Reviews: 7
This book is one of the most interesting political autobiographies I have read (and I've read many of them). I must confess that interest was intensified due to the fact that I worked in the House of Commons during her tenure in office, and indeed worked during the 1987 General Election for two Conservative Members of Parliament (David Amess of Basildon and David Evennett of Erith & Crayford--yes, I know, you've never heard of either of them).
This is actually the first volume of Margaret Thatcher's books to be published; the prequel is 'The Path to Power' and there is a follow-up, 'The Collected Speeches', but for those interested, 'The Downing Street Years' is the book to have.

It begins with the 1979 General Election, and carries forward to her resignation as Prime Minister a decade later. In this volume are her perspectives on all the various Cabinet intrigues, shuffles and reshuffles; her attempts to find civil servants and other helpers who were not of the old guard but of a new mentality, often asking, 'Is he one of us?' by which she meant, not is he a Conservative, but rather, will he get something accomplished, is he a do-er?

Thatcher's perspectives on the various scandals and inter-Cabinet fighting makes for interesting reading -- she is candid in her likes and dislikes among her Cabinet colleagues. Her final row with Geoffrey Howe, who delivered a scathing speech in the HoC that mostly prompted the leadership crisis, is enlightening. (I've not seen his version, if one exists--it would be good to compare the two sides.) She was very disappointed at the end when she thought she had the continued support of the party, but each of her ministers and 'friends' told her in turn that while he supported her, others would not. She saw the writing on the wall, and after having won the first ballot for party leadership but not by a sufficient majority to avoid a second ballot, she resigned in favour of John Major (whose autobiography, recently issued, is also well worth reading, particularly for his comments about how Thatcher tried to maintain a controlling influence over him from behind the office).

You might be tempted, if you're not really into politics and not reading this for scholarly purposes, to skim over various minor issues that are gone into great detail. Historians are appreciative, but I seriously ask myself how many non-political scientists and historians will read through all the detail of what are now minor bits of history?

In all, a brilliant career, the first woman head of government in a major Western democracy, and well worth reading on the whole.
I learned more about the 1980's from this book than I did living through them. Granted I was young and not paying too much attention at the time, but MT's perspective on some of the pivotal events of that period is fascinating. Particularly enjoyed the discussion on Northern Ireland, the Falklands War and dealings with Russia. Maybe i'm wrong here ... but it also seems like the PM of the UK is forced to work a lot harder than any US congressman or President. She was in the weeds, and seemed to rely on a small team. Does the Parliamentary structure demand that kind of factual grasp, unlike the US system? Smaller support staff budget? Hmm.
Being an autobiography dealing with a limited subset of the subject's years, the usual biographical information regarding early life, influences and inspirations are regrettably missing, though still covered in other works for those justifiably hungry for such ('Path to Power', by Thatcher', and John Campbell's biographies of the lady).

Personality issues within the government and international arena are given generous page-time, and do actually provide useful context and justification for actions and decisions taken by Thatcher throughout her premiership, as well as providing insights into the character and personalities of various world leaders. One particular insight of note for myself was the efforts enacted by US Secretary of State Alexander Haig in trying to forge a diplomatic solution to the Falklands invasion: I'd always considered Haig as something of a dyed-in-the-wool reactionary, but his actions and earnest efforts in this instance spoke far louder than words.

Discussions of economic minutiae, raining with acronyms specific to the British political and economic environments (including a very creative instance of public service-speak for budget deficits), aren't very effective at holding a reader's interest, but readers are encouraged to press on nonetheless, as disparate economic matters are blessedly interspersed with chapters on social, international, domestic and European issues of sufficient consciousness-boosting contrast.

Social matters are given adequate page-time, though I would have liked some additional context for several of such, especially comments regarding Thatcher's belief in removing provisions for no-fault divorce. Her almost-throwaway justification for such a view seemed to be vested in the belief that a woman (as if only a woman would want a divorce) should choose to depend more on her more-accountable husband than on less-accountable state welfare, seeming to follow on from the lady's views on moving dependence to more accountable service providers, susceptible to market forces, rather than governments. The two views seem more aligned in ideology than practicality, with no case evidence given to justify the lady's view on fault-based divorce.

On the Kindle edition, despite aid in photograph selection being applauded within the book's acknowledgments, no photo pages have been included