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There Is No Alternative: Why Margaret Thatcher Matters Paperback – November 8, 2011
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About the Author
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Claire Berlinski is a freelance investigative journalist, travel writer, biographer, and novelist who lives in Istanbul. She is the author of Menace in Europe: Why the Continent's Crisis is America's, Too, and There is No Alternative: Why Margaret Thatcher Matters, which Newt Gingrich said "every American should read" and Theodore Darymple described as "about as powerful a defense of Thatcher's record as is likely ever to be written."
Her journalism has been published in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, First Post, theOxford International Review, The American, Asia Times, the Globe and Mail, the New York Sun, the Weekly Standard, National Review, Policy Review, Penthouse, Radio Free Europe, World Affairs Journal, Azure, Traveler's Tales, Travel & Leisure, and Arabies Trends. She is also the author of two spy novels and a frequent guest on local and international radio talk shows.
Since receiving a degree in Modern History and a doctorate in international relations from Oxford University, she has lived and worked in Britain, Thailand, Laos, France, and Turkey.
She devotes her spare time to rescuing stray animals, studying the martial arts, and sharing hand-to-hand combat tips on the Internet.
Top Customer Reviews
Not only were there interviews with politicians and government officials, but there were also interviews with people affected by Mrs. Thatcher's policies. For example, the author interviews wealthy Britons in the banking and restaurant businesses who have profited greatly from England's economic resurgence. Moreover, she interviews three former coal miners who lost their job when Thatcher defeated the union and basically ended Britain's inefficient coal industry.
From this biography, I was able to understand why Thatcher matters. She resurrected the pride of Great Britain, which had struggled with socialism, strikes and inefficiency for decades. Britain's economy is now the largest in Europe. Moreover, she restored Britain's standing in the world by reclaiming the Falkland Islands and along with the US, helping to defeat communism.
The book is mostly a collection of interviews with Thatcher's defenders and detractors with the author's commentary interspersed throughout the transcripts. Through these interviews, the reader is given a pretty good idea of why Thatcher is still so intensely loved and hated even now, almost 20 years after she left office.
Berlinski has an amusing, first-person writing style replete with pop culture references that sometimes seem out of place in a biography of a historical figure, but on the whole, makes the work very readable.
The book delivered on my hopes. Powerful quotes punctuate, some from Berlinski herself, such as, "Ronald Reagan was elected in 1980, insisting that contrary to all appearance and belief, the Soviet Union ws not only weak but mortally vulnerable. Because he was right, it's often forgotten that this point of view at the time marked him as a lunatic."
You don't have revolutions for fun, they're very uncomfortable, very unpleasant, a lot of people get hurt, and --You shall have a war. It's going to be very unpleasant, and we're going to be hated, and the better the things we do, the more hated we will be. . . We're not likely to bring it off. But if we do, she will be a historic figure. ... . She's actually realizing that something terrible has got to be done.--John Hoskyns
A well thought-out scare campaign is a must. --Nigel Lawson
I offer two criticisms of the book. First, Berlinski makes at least one historical claim that is highly questionable. She writes that in the late 1970s, unburied corpses were piled high in the streets of Britain. I know people who lived in the country then. I ran searches on the internet. No one corroborates this claim.Read more ›
The author interviewed individuals who were not hesitant in revealing Thatcher as a strong willed lady that may have even occasionally rubbed them the wrong way. France's Francois Mitterrand even described her as "Brigitte Bardot with Caligula's eyes." She was also born and raised in modest middle class surroundings---and the elites never forgave her. One is also readily reminded of the friction between the American Sarah Palin and her big government Republican detractors. Mrs. Thatcher worked closely together with President Ronald Reagan to defeat the Soviet Union. This same sort of focus and vision is currently needed to combat Islamic extremism. Claire Berlinski has successfully made her case. The title of the book says it all. Margaret Thatcher still matters and there is no alternative. Great Britain is experiencing an existential crisis that may destroy its democratic institutions. Can it find another Thatcher before it is too late?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I learned how and why Thatcher saved the UK from its socialist tendencies. Even more important, I learned that the right person in the right place at the right time can turn around... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Ward A. HARRIS
I used to view Margareth Thatcher as the feminine version of Ronald Reagan, besides knowing very little about Reagan. Read morePublished 3 months ago by F. G. Nobrega
I am giving this book a one star, not because the book is bad. In fact, I think it's a fantastic account of Thatcher, and would reccomend to anyone. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Bill Van Daalen
Great subject matter. She was a person of great character. The book was well presented. Socialists and liberals will probably turn their noses up at it as common sense seems to... Read morePublished 12 months ago by C.E.Sawyer
A well balanced book about a giant of British political life and a Great British leader who saved Britain from the jaws of declinePublished 13 months ago by Iain Livingston
Subject is timely as it is about leadership and courage. These are two virtues that seem to be absent among today's politicians who do not wish to take unpopular positions. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Helene Kiecolt
Whether you are a Thatcher fan or not (and I am), this is a great read. I wish it didn't have to end.Published 21 months ago by gregory r shimp