OVERRIDE

Not for Turning: The Life of Margaret Thatcher

Robin Harris

Thomas Dunne Books

Margaret Thatcher is one of the most significant political figures of the twentieth century—a Prime Minister whose impact on modern English history is comparable only to Winston Churchill’s. Like them or not, her radical policies made Britain the country it is today. And like her or not, Margaret Thatcher’s legacy remains a massive political force, responsible for laying the groundwork for New Labour, Tony Blair, and David Cameron, and for England’s strong political allegiance to the United States throughout the Cold War.

Now Robin Harris, for many years Mrs. Thatcher’s speechwriter, close adviser, and the draftsman of both volumes of her autobiography, has written the definitive book about this indomitable English woman. In this international bestseller, he tells the compelling story of her life, from humble beginnings above her father’s grocery store in Grantham, her early days as one of the first women in Westminster (she became known as “Thatcher Milk Snatcher” during her time in the Ministry of Education), and then on to her groundbreaking career as Prime Minister (by which time her reputation already demanded a more powerful epithet: “Iron Lady”).

We follow Thatcher through hard-fought political battles and experience with her the tribulations of the English miners’ strike and the Falklands War, of her sometimes troubled friendship with Ronald Reagan, and their shared staunch opposition to Communism. We learn of the political intrigue behind the scenes at Ten Downing Street. And how during one of the darkest hours of her premiership she refused to alter course and, adapting the words of an English play, declared to her enemies, inside and outside the Government, “You turn if you want to. The Lady's Not for Turning,” summing up for admirers and detractors alike the defiance and consistency of Mrs. Thatcher's approach. Throughout Not for Turning we sense the passionate intellect which fuelled her ambitions, drove her into and out of one of the highest offices in the English-speaking world, and has established a unique political legacy that continues even after her death…

Not for Turning is an unforgettable portrait of Britain’s first female Prime Minister, written by one of her most trusted advisers, and a fitting tribute to an extraordinary politician and leader.

REVIEWS

Praise for Not for Turning: The Life of Margaret Thatcher

“Admiring…but evenhanded—a useful account.” —Kirkus Reviews

"Harris’s book...gives us a better glimpse into why and how Thatcher worked so well with Ronald Reagan than I have seen in previous biographies of either."—The American Spectator

“The political biography of the decade.” —Daily Mail (UK)

"[A] lively and accessible insider's account.” —Financial Times (UK)

“It is refreshing...Harris is like a long-faithful courtier freed by a monarch's death to speak the truth about them.” —Guardian (UK)

“No-holds-barred, well-written...contains the most authoritative account of her life after leaving office...a dramatic account.” —The Times (UK)

“Readable and well-informed...detailed and fascinating.” —Spectator (UK) 

“A pacy and entertaining book... well-sourced and packed with anecdotes. A first rate potted history.” —Express (UK)

“[Harris is] shrewd and sympathetic enough to do full justice to [Thatcher] as a politician and as a person.”
Standpoint Magazine (UK)

“Insightful and very readable. Its strength lies in its personal approach.”
Catholic Herlad (UK)

“Irresistible reading...the brilliance of Harris's gift for narrative has not deserted him.”
Times Literary Supplement (UK)

“Admiring…but evenhanded—a useful account.” —Kirkus Reviews

"Harris’s book...gives us a better glimpse into why and how Thatcher worked so well with Ronald Reagan than I have seen in previous biographies of either."—The American Spectator

“The political biography of the decade.” —Daily Mail (UK)

"[A] lively and accessible insider's account.” —Financial Times (UK)

“It is refreshing...Harris is like a long-faithful courtier freed by a monarch's death to speak the truth about them.” —Guardian (UK)

“No-holds-barred, well-written...contains the most authoritative account of her life after leaving office...a dramatic account.” —The Times (UK)

“Readable and well-informed...detailed and fascinating.” —Spectator (UK) 

“A pacy and entertaining book... well-sourced and packed with anecdotes. A first rate potted history.” —Express (UK)

“[Harris is] shrewd and sympathetic enough to do full justice to [Thatcher] as a politician and as a person.”
Standpoint Magazine (UK)

“Insightful and very readable. Its strength lies in its personal approach.”
Catholic Herlad (UK)

“Irresistible reading...the brilliance of Harris's gift for narrative has not deserted him.”
Times Literary Supplement (UK)

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Robin Harris

  • ROBIN HARRIS worked for the Conservative Party from 1978, and increasingly closely with Margaret Thatcher herself from 1985, writing her speeches and advising on policy. By the close of her premiership, he was probably the most trusted member of her political team at Downing Street, and he left Number Ten with her. As a member of her personal staff, he then drafted the two volumes of her autobiography and a further book on her behalf, continuing to see her regularly after her retirement.

  • Robin Harris
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    Not for Turning: The Life of Margaret Thatcher

    Robin Harris

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    Thomas Dunne Books

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