Maggie is John Sergeant's mordant analysis of Thatcher's life and career, bringing to bear his trademark wit and keen sense of the absurd, but also his deep understanding of the British political arena and an insight born of 30 years of reporting on events in Westminster. His access to those who worked for her, with her, and against her is unique. This riveting book offers both a fresh appraisal of a woman who changed British politics forever and a powerful account of her legacy and her political heirs, be they new Labour or Ian Duncan Smith.
© John Sergeant; (P) Macmillan Publishers Ltd
"Vivid and illuminating...an important story and it needed telling." (Independent)
"[Sergeant's] anecdotes and apercus are to the point...the cumulative effect is devastating." (Sunday Times)
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"Engaging and entertaining"
I was born in 1971 so a lot of my formative years were spent under Maggie Thatcher's premiership. At the time I cared little about it, other than through the wonderful Spitting Image, which was food for playground banter.
Having recently moved back to the UK after a long spell abroad, I find myself becoming interested to learn about the period that I lived through but knew so little about. Though I cared little about politics until, well, until now really, Maggie stands firm in my mind like an icon.
John Sergeant's book is engaging and entertaining. It is interesting to hear the point of view of one who was so close to the action with the luxury of hindsight. For the layman (and I consider myself such), the book is easy to follow, although I did benefit from a few visits to Wikipedia and YouTube to learn more about the workings of British politics and see news reel footage from the time.
I have no other benchmarks against which to gauge John Sergeant's opinion of the events, but when he does give his opinion, it is always well backed up well. He does a great job of relating the key events, not only of Maggie's time as PM, but of her rise to become leader of the Conservative Party and her influence on her successors and her party; in a word, her legacy.
For those who do have a strong opinion of Margaret Thatcher, and I know that there are a lot of you out there, I think that this book will help to show the other side of the story, whatever side you happen to be on. But for those such as I without much of an opinion, you'll find this a highly informative book that gives a broad overview of Margaret Thatcher but it may leave you still wondering what to think. That's where I am anyway. I'm contemplating reading her memoirs, although I do like John Sergeant's book for its apparent lack of idealogical bias and I could really use some more books like this one.
In short, I enjoyed this a lot and could listen to it again quite easily.
"a brilliant balanced window into Maggie"
couldn't stop listening. what I loved was the various people who had been interviewed about mrs Thatcher, giving a rounded view on her legacy.
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