There Is No Alternative: Why Margaret Thatcher Matters

There Is No Alternative: Why Margaret Thatcher Matters

by Claire Berlinski

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Great Britain in the 1970s appeared to be in terminal decline—ungovernable, an economic train wreck, and rapidly headed for global irrelevance. Three decades later, it is the richest and most influential country in Europe, and Margaret Thatcher is the reason. The preternaturally determined Thatcher rose from nothing, seized control of Britain's Conservative party, and took a sledgehammer to the nation's postwar socialist consensus. She proved that socialism could be reversed, inspiring a global free-market revolution. Simultaneously exploiting every politically useful aspect of her femininity and defying every conventional expectation of women in power, Thatcher crushed her enemies with a calculated ruthlessness that stunned the British public and without doubt caused immense collateral damage.

Ultimately, however, Claire Berlinski agrees with Thatcher: There was no alternative. Berlinski explains what Thatcher did, why it matters, and how she got away with it in this vivid and immensely readable portrait of one of the towering figures of the twentieth century.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780465031221
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 11/08/2011
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 1,023,101
File size: 2 MB
Age Range: 13 - 18 Years

About the Author

Claire Berlinski received her doctorate in international relations from Oxford University. She has since worked as a journalist and freelance writer throughout Asia and Europe. Her previous books include two novels, Loose Lips and Lion Eyes, and the nonfiction work Menace in Europe. She lives in Istanbul, Turkey.

Table of Contents

A Note on Style and Sources ix

Preface xi

1 The Shrine of Mother Margaret 1

2 La Pasionaria of Middle-Class Privilege 15

3 "I Hate Communists" 47

4 Diva, Matron, Housewife, Shrew 71

5 The Sledgehammer 113

6 For Strategic Sheep Purposes 157

7 Coal and Iron 183

8 Miners Is Miners 237

9 The Triumvirate 263

10 No! No! No! 307

Conclusion Why Margaret Thatcher Matters 343

Epilogue 361

Photograph Acknowledgments 364

Acknowledgments 365

A Guide to Further Reading 369

Index 373

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There Is No Alternative: Why Margaret Thatcher Matters 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Tunguz More than 1 year ago
Margaret Thatcher is one of the most iconic political figures of the 20th century. She was the first female head of government, and to this day all strong female politicians inevitably invoke the comparison with her. However, her fame and achievements go well beyond just being a symbolic first in women's ascension in public and professional life. The impact that she had on both the British domestic policy and the international relations at the end of Cold War are monumental and will be hard to eclipse any time soon by a politician of either gender. She continues to inspire all those who are opposed to tyranny in all of its forms and support free exercise of individual capabilities unconstrained by bloated governmental intrusions. With this in mind, it is not surprising that there are plenty biographies of Madame Thatcher out there. There is enough information on her online to completely satisfy anyone's curiosity. And yet, Claire Berlinski manages to find a unique new angle and write a biography that is original and distinctive. She intersperses the narrative parts of the biography with numerous parts of interview with people who knew Margaret Thatcher well. She even quotes full dialogues from Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar" in the final chapter on Thatcher's downfall. This comes across a bit overly melodramatic, but nonetheless makes for an interesting read. Berlinski is also unashamed to use personal anecdotes and psychological evaluation of various protagonists of this biography, which can be viewed either as a bit self-indulgent or fresh and original. I tend to be more inclined towards the latter, but this may not sit too well with all readers. The importance of Margaret Thatcher has only increased over the years. She was one of the main politicians that opposed and fought socialism in all of its forms. After the fall of Communism and more or less general adoption of the main aspects of her policy by most major European parties, it looked like the free-market ideas that she so passionately championed had become completely vindicated once and for all. Unfortunately, in the recent years we have been witnessing the resurgence of those ideas, and it is important now more than ever to be reminded of what sorry life Brittan had led under such policies. This book is a useful reminder of that and an inspiration for everyone for the way out of that predicament.
jzdro on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The subtitle is "Why Margaret Thatcher Matters," and that question is addressed very ably in this insightful and engaging retrospective. It is written in a conversational, journalistic style, yet is sound and well-referenced.
bohannon on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Ms. Berlinksi is obviously a fan of Lady Thatcher. That said, she goes to great links to reprint the views of those who dislike the Lady. As an American who knew little of Lady Thatcher outside of her reputation, the book was a great introduction to her. The book spends equal amounts of time discussing not only the historical account of what happened in Lady Thatcher's political life, but how that fit into larger questions of abstract political philosophy and practical politics. All in all a good read, with very interesting connotations for current political events.
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Nook price isn't close at $15. Any want to buy used Nook?
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