Downing Street Years

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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.
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About the author

Born in 1925, Margaret Thatcher rose to become the first woman to lead a major Western democracy. She won three successive general elections and served as prime minister for more than eleven years, from 1979 to 1990, a record unmatched in the twentieth century.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Harper Collins
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Published on
Jan 4, 2011
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Pages
928
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ISBN
9780062029102
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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The national bestseller

Justin Trudeau has spent his life in the public eye. From the moment he was born, the first son of an iconic prime minister and his young wife, Canadians have witnessed the highs and the lows, sharing in his successes and mourning with him during tragic times. But few beyond Justin’s closest circle have heard his side of his unique journey. Now, in Common Ground, Justin Trudeau reveals how the events of his life have influenced him and formed the ideals that drive him today. He explores, with candour and empathy, the difficulties of his parents’ marriage and the effect it had on a small boy and the close relationship with a father whose exacting standards were second only to his love for his sons. He explores his political coming of age during the tumultuous years of the Charlottetown Accord and the Quebec Referendum, and reflects on his time as a teacher, which was interrupted by the devastating losses of his brother and father. We hear how a connection was forged with a beautiful young woman, Sophie Gregoire, who had known the Trudeaus in earlier days.

Through it all, we come to understand how Justin found his own voice as a young man and began to solidify his understanding of Canada’s strengths and potential as a nation. We hear what drew Justin toward politics and what led to his decision to run for office. Through Justin’s eyes, we see what it was like in those first days of seeking the Liberal nomination for Papineau, when it was just he and Sophie and a clipboard in a grocery store parking lot, and how hard work and determination won him not only the nomination but two hard-fought elections. We learn of his reaction to the considerable Liberal defeat in 2011 and how it clarified his belief that the Liberal Party had lost touch with Canadians—and how that summer he was far from considering a run for the Liberal leadership but contemplating whether to leave politics altogether. And we learn why, in the end, he decided to help rejuvenate the Liberal Party and to run for the leadership and for prime minister. But mostly, Justin shares with readers his belief that Canada is a country made strong by its diversity, not in spite of it, and how our greatest potential lies in finding what unites us, in building on a sense of shared purpose—our common hopes and dreams—and in coming together on common ground.

Ronald Reagan’s autobiography is a work of major historical importance. Here, in his own words, is the story of his life—public and private—told in a book both frank and compellingly readable.

Few presidents have accomplished more, or been so effective in changing the direction of government in ways that are both fundamental and lasting, than Ronald Reagan. Certainly no president has more dramatically raised the American spirit, or done so much to restore national strength and self-confidence.

Here, then, is a truly American success story—a great and inspiring one. From modest beginnings as the son of a shoe salesman in Tampico, Illinois, Ronald Reagan achieved first a distinguished career in Hollywood and then, as governor of California and as president of the most powerful nation in the world, a career of public service unique in our history.

Ronald Reagan’s account of that rise is told here with all the uncompromising candor, modesty, and wit that made him perhaps the most able communicator ever to occupy the White House, and also with the sense of drama of a gifted natural storyteller.

He tells us, with warmth and pride, of his early years and of the elements that made him, in later life, a leader of such stubborn integrity, courage, and clear-minded optimism. Reading the account of this childhood, we understand how his parents, struggling to make ends meet despite family problems and the rigors of the Depression, shaped his belief in the virtues of American life—the need to help others, the desire to get ahead and to get things done, the deep trust in the basic goodness, values, and sense of justice of the American people—virtues that few presidents have expressed more eloquently than Ronald Reagan.

With absolute authority and a keen eye for the details and the anecdotes that humanize history, Ronald Reagan takes the reader behind the scenes of his extraordinary career, from his first political experiences as president of the Screen Actors Guild (including his first meeting with a beautiful young actress who was later to become Nancy Reagan) to such high points of his presidency as the November 1985 Geneva meeting with Mikhail Gorbachev, during which Reagan invited the Soviet leader outside for a breath of fresh air and then took him off for a walk and a man-to-man chat, without aides, that set the course for arms reduction and charted the end of the Cold War.

Here he reveals what went on behind his decision to enter politics and run for the governorship of California, the speech nominating Barry Goldwater that first made Reagan a national political figure, his race for the presidency, his relations with the members of his own cabinet, and his frustrations with Congress.

He gives us the details of the great themes and dramatic crises of his eight years in office, from Lebanon to Grenada, from the struggle to achieve arms control to tax reform, from Iran-Contra to the visits abroad that did so much to reestablish the United States in the eyes of the world as a friendly and peaceful power. His narrative is full of insights, from the unseen dangers of Gorbachev’s first visit to the United States to Reagan’s own personal correspondence with major foreign leaders, as well as his innermost feelings about life in the White House, the assassination attempt, his family—and the enduring love between himself and Mrs. Reagan.

An American Life is a warm, richly detailed, and deeply human book, a brilliant self-portrait, a significant work of history.
With unequaled authority and dramatic detail, the first volume of Charles Moore’s authorized biography of Margaret Thatcher reveals as never before the early life, rise to power, and first years as prime minister of the woman who transformed Britain and the world in the late twentieth century. Moore has had unique access to all of Thatcher’s private and governmental papers, and interviewed her and her family extensively for this book. Many of her former colleagues and intimates have also shared previously unseen papers, diaries, and letters, and spoken frankly to him, knowing that what they revealed would not be published until after her death. The book immediately supersedes all other biographies and sheds much new light on the whole spectrum of British political life from Thatcher’s entry into Parliament in 1959 to what was arguably the zenith of her power—victory in the Falklands in 1982.

Drawing on an extraordinary cache of letters to her sister Muriel, Moore illuminates Thatcher’s youth, her relationship with her parents, and her early romantic attachments, including her first encounters with Denis Thatcher and their courtship and marriage. Moore brilliantly depicts her determination and boldness from the very beginning of her political career and gives the fullest account of her wresting the Tory leadership from former prime minister Edward Heath at a moment when no senior figure in the party dared to challenge him. His account of Thatcher’s dramatic relationship with Ronald Reagan is riveting. This book also explores in compelling detail the obstacles and indignities that Thatcher encountered as a woman in what was still overwhelmingly a man’s world.

Moore’s admiration for Thatcher is evident, yet his portrait is convincingly clear-eyed, conveying both how remarkable she was and how infuriating she could be, her extraordinary grasp at mastering policy and what needed to be done, and her surprising vulnerabilities. At the moment when Margaret Thatcher becomes a part of history, Moore’s portrait enlivens her, compellingly re-creating the circumstances and experiences that shaped one of the most significant world leaders of the postwar era. 
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