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Margaret Thatcher


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About the Author

Charles Moore was born in 1956 and educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he read History. He joined the staff of the Daily Telegraph in 1979, and as a political columnist in the 1980s covered several years of Mrs Thatcher's first and second governments. He was Editor of the Spectator 1984-90; Editor of the Sunday Telegraph 1992-95; and Editor of the Daily Telegraph 1995-2003, for which he is still a regular columnist. He is married, with a grown-up son and daughter, and lives in Sussex. The first volume of his biography of Margaret Thatcher, published in 2013, won the Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Biography, the HW Fisher Best First Biography Prize and Political Book of the Year at the Paddy Power Political Book Awards.


The second volume is if anything even better than the first, a model of close research, fluent prose and impeccable judgement. Yet the real measure of his achievement is that amid all the summits and meetings, the policy papers and parliamentary duels, he never loses sight of the woman at the centre of it all. Almost every page of Moore's book throws up an unexpected insight or nugget. Moore writes as an unashamed Thatcher fan, but it is to his immense credit that the book never feels unduly partisan. He is frank about her failings. What keeps you turning the pages is not just Moore's lovely, smooth style, but his quiet dry humour. It is a tribute to Moore's skill as a writer that he makes you look at her as a human being. This is, I think, one of the great biographical achievements of our times. -- Dominic Sandbrook * Sunday Times *
Charles Moore has overcome the challenge of following his outstanding and compelling first volume on Mrs Thatcher's rise by making his second, the account of her period of greatest success, as exciting as a novel. ... As in the first volume, Moore shows a Thatcher far different from the myths of both Left and Right which are now part of British culture. ... This is a magnificent piece of work, and when he has completed it with the third volume, Moore will have done the justice she deserves to a great Prime Minister. -- William Waldegrave * Evening Standard *
Moore is supremely skilled at focusing on this issue or that and then swiftly pulling his camera back to show the sheer hectic muddle and rush of her life as Prime Minister. ... The extent of his research is unmatched by any other biographer. It includes interviews with many hundreds of people, both allies and enemies ... Unlike stuffier writers, he recognises the value in speaking to those whose lowlier positions let them spy on events from an oblique angle. Her detective recalls the way President Mitterrand kept staring at her legs on a car journey and an interpreter remembers her first set-to with not-yet-President Gorbachev. -- Craig Brown * Mail on Sunday *
Moore's project is a study of detailed depth, and fine and transparent judgements, which rises to the largeness of a figure and a time that were of world significance. It is written with evident admiration but never slops over into sycophancy. Very few journalists, with a lifetime of against-deadline scribbling behind them, could muster the sustained intellectual power this required. -- John Lloyd * Financial Times *
An awesomely thorough and authoritative portrait ... the definitive explanation of the strange person who most shaped modern Britain. -- Andy Beckett * Guardian *

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