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The Downing Street Years

Narrated by: Margaret Thatcher
Length: 6 hrs and 23 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (125 ratings)

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Summary

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 power. She also gives frank accounts of her dealings with foreign statesmen and her own ministers.

©2007 HarperCollins Publishers (P)2007 HarperCollins Publishers

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jeremy
  • Malvern Wells, United Kingdom
  • 01-02-11

Sympathy for the Devil?

I am no Thatcherite... BUT this audiobook gave me a fascinating glimpse of the deeply held values that motivated MT and the Tory government under her leadership during those formative years in the 1980s.

Union power and the Miners Strike, the Falklands War and the Belgrano, Carter & Reagan, EEC and monetary union, unemployment and the riots, and her final bitter betrayal by her own Cabinet and Party are all tackled with her own brand of ebullient individualism.

Having just read Tony Blair's 'A Journey', I am struck how similar these two characters are. Both strong 'Presidential' style leaders, who took difficult decisions which divided the Country. In both cases dogmatic self-belief being both an asset and the cause of their downfall.

And surprisingly... I was left with an admiration for the 'Iron Lady'. The lessons of Churchill & the War, values of loyalty, fighting for democracy and British interests, not being deflected by criticism and a kind of assertive honesty came through strongly as her foundational virtues. Love her or hate her, this book is a great insight into her way of thinking.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A well written and read book

Having lived through these years as a child and only ever hearing politics from my fathers very anti Thatcher stance I couldn't resist trying to understand why Mrs Thatcher did the things she did.

She is not one for discussing her failures much it seems but at times she was humble and it was moving the way she spoke of the tragedies that occurred during her time.

I came away from this admiring her more for her determination and strength of decision making rather than the hopeless 'listening' governments we have now that back away from any remotely bad publicity or making decisions that might stop them staying in power. Interesting that she feels she came into power with the country in a complete economic mess after Labours overspending and comparing this to todays situation. So much of what was going on back then rings true to now its scary.

Well read and interesting insight into an iconic lady. Like her or loathe her this is an interesting book. I'm off to hear the other side of the story from Tony Blair now!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Fascinating

I was a teenager in the 80’s so lived through the thatcher years as an impressionable young person that rejected the state just on principal. I was a punk so was anti everything but listening to this book now I realise that in fact she was an incredibly insightful and highly intelligent woman, the likes of which we have not seen since, man or woman. None of them since can hold a candle to her. I firmly believe now that we are still our own country and not part of a federal Europe because of her leadership and beliefs and steadfast determination to follow her own path.
Like her or hate her, you cannot deny her political capabilities. Fascinating listen that I think will almost certainly change your opinion of her.
So good as well that she reads it. Gives her account of herself much more meaning, realism and emotion.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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great book

love the fact this is read by maggie herself. an honest and true account of her time in downing street, great for anyone interest in educating themselves on a particular period.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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What are moment

I couldn't but it down, from start to finish. I found it to be so inspirational, and at same time so sad that even the people you trust can and will turn on you in the time of need.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Very enjoyable book - worth downloading

Would you listen to The Downing Street Years again? Why?

Margaret Thatcher read the book exceptionally well. Listening to the book it felt like I was at a lecture or speech rather than the author reading the script. Rather than overact or overemphasise passages, the book is read more like a conversation. A fascinating insight to the way the Thatcher government operated during the '80s.

What does Margaret Thatcher bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Having Margaret Thatcher read the book brings it more to life.

Any additional comments?

Whether you are a fan of Margaret Thatcher or are interested in Politics, this version is definitely worth downloading.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Excellent -

What made the experience of listening to The Downing Street Years the most enjoyable?

As a child I grew up with her as PM. It was good to go back to understand what was actually going on at the time

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Downing Street Years?

The piece around the Falklands war and her courage and belief in defending what is right and what is British

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Poor. Smug and self-indulgent, like the author.

Smug and self-indulgent, like the author.Save your money. Very disappointing.I didn't think anything could be worse than Michael Caine's ghastly effort, but this achieves that.

David Niven set the benchmark actor autobiographies and this effort falls miles below that

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superb!

A fascinating insight which makes you realise she was our greatest prime minister of all time.

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Context is key

Unless you lived in and around her time, or are studying her, or simply know a lot about eighties politics, this book might bore you. She provides little to no context, and fires off names and events with dizzying frequency. If, like me, you wanted to learn about her, I would buy a book written about her and maybe then come back to this one.