jamiebowen0306 (jamiebowen0306) wrote,

I also finished "The Downing Street Years" by Margaret Thatcher today.

I am very much a product of the 1980s. The first political act I remember was Wilson's resignation as Prime Minister in 1976 and Jim Callaghan's rise to power in his wake. Consequently Callaghan's subsequent loss to Thatcher is the first election I remember.

This book looks at the decade plus that she was in power. It's an interesting book, because she talks about the things that drew me to student politics in the late 1980s. But anyone who reads it now will find it reads more like a historical treaties than it does anything else. I say this because much of what she writes about have become settled facts that everyone agrees on.

I can remember the arguments that she had with Nigel Lawson, Geoffrey Hows, the "wets" in her cabinet and the like. I also remember the heated discussions people had over the miner's strike, EMU, student loans, the poll tax and so on, but remember folks these arguments happened a quarter of a century now, so much of what she talk about feels like it happened a long long time ago, in a place that feels like, but isn't quite, England.

That isn't to say that what she wrote wasn't interesting or didn't made me smile. As an example, her certainty that they'd seen off the Labour party as a party of "prolonged government" had to make me laugh, while her concerns about how a unified Germany might destablise Europe has to make you doubt her judgment.

In short, this book is interesting because the "blessed Margaret" helped Britons redefine how they was themselves, but I'd say that people should read it as a piece of self-justifictory history now because, as I said earlier, much of the arguments she discusses became "settled historic facts.
Tags: book, book review, review

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