Book review: Not For Turning

Not For Turning, a biography of Margaret Thatcher, makes for compulsory reading for aficionados of international politics.

Not For Turning by Robin Harris
Random House/Bantam Press, $37.99

book review not for turning robin harrisSince her death earlier this year, the time has been ripe for tomes on Margaret Thatcher. This one, by Robin Harris, gives an insider’s perspective into the life and times of the controversial figure.

Harris was Thatcher’s speechwriter, working with her from 1985 and also advising on policy. Harris left Number Ten at the same time as Thatcher and went on to draft the two volumes of her autobiography and another book on her behalf.

Upon writing to Thatcher to inform her of his intention to pen Not For Turning, she wrote in turn, “I can think of no-one better placed than you to tackle the subject ... you also know, better than anyone else, what I wanted our reforms to achieve for the people of Britain”.

The book provides deep, personal insights into Thatcher’s character and political manoeuverings, charting her history from humble beginnings above her father’s grocer’s shop in Grantham to her position as one of the first women in Westminster, then on to the top job.

It makes for compulsory reading for aficionados of international politics.