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Publisher's Summary

It is well known that Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher were close allies and kindred political spirits. During their eight overlapping years in office, the U.S. president and the U.K. prime minister worked together to promote lower taxes, deregulation, free trade, and an aggressive stance against the Soviet Union.

But according to Nicholas Wapshott, the Reagan/Thatcher relationship was much deeper than an alliance of mutual interests. Drawing on interviews with those closest to them, as well as on hundreds of recently declassified private letters and telephone calls, Wapshott depicts a more complex, personal, and sometimes argumentative relationship than has previously been revealed.

©2007 Nicholas Wapshott; (P)2007 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Throughout, Wapshott favors the nitty-gritty, painting a portrait of the friendship that shaped the 1980s and the alliance that won the Cold War." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
  • peter
  • Pound Ridge, NY United States
  • 06-01-11

A Better Half

My intuition led me to false expectations concerning this book since I expected the author to focus on our two heroes for the period when they were in power at the same time, the golden period of conservatism. The first book was almost entirely consumed with the individual upbringings of two...well...rather ordinary people with ordinary lives. They each go to church; each had humdrum upbringings; appeared in B movies; found a husband wealthy enough to provide for her concentration on politics. I am not surprised I was bored stiff. So...why 4 Stars? Well, for those that had not read a Thatcher or Reagan biography, the first book may be helpful, needed or even interesting. For my part, the depth of research and the dialog included was most stimulating. The relationships amongst all those close to the seat of power and how they were managed by the two of them were well highlighted. The author has the clearest style and the narrator is similarly easy to follow. I would recommend that he stop trying to mimic American accents - Carter and Reagan do not really sound alike (!) - but his rendition of Thatcher was 'spot on'. I gained a lot from this latter book and recommend it fully.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Phil O.
  • San Diego, CA, United States
  • 03-27-13

I am completely underwhelmed

This book could have been so much more. It dwelt on personal trivia, in a tone only a fawning sentimentalist could be satisfied by. There were so many bigger issues and impacts circling through these times and people, than are adequately dealt with here. At some point late in the book I surrendered, as I rarely do, and stopped listening.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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the age-old adage is true: history repeats itself

Listening to this book describe the issues and feelings and strength of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher in their time overcoming communism and Marxism reminds me of what this United States currently faces in the growing trust in socialism to the horror of most Americans who have lost their jobs and yet are told "you can be reeducated".

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Not bad

It read like cliff notes rather than being in depth. It brushed over all the interesting issues like a Wikipedia summary of facts. This is not a very insightful book, more like a hurried book report.

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Great source

Pleasant and easy listening with intimate insights from work and life the Two most remarkable people.

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  • William
  • SCOTTSDALE, AZ, United States
  • 02-23-13

Adequate Overview and Summary

I agree with another reviewer disappointed in the first section of the book on the early lives and careers of President Reagan and Prime Minister Thatcher. The second section picked up as it examined their times in office, their cooperation, their conflicts. But much of the story reads like a society page in the newspaper. The president gave Thatcher a Steuben eagle. A concern was picking just the right horse for the president to ride with the queen. And the endless number of notes and messages of mutual support. Yes it is all true, and yes it was their relationship, and yes it makes for an uninteresting tale. But yes I did learn about the specifics of their intertwined time in office.

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  • Jared
  • Cashmere, WA, United States
  • 10-23-12

Brilliant!

If you could sum up Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher in three words, what would they be?

Heroic, Patriotic, Leaders

What other book might you compare Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher to and why?

Keynes Hayek. Both are wonderful!

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Cry. Loved it.

Any additional comments?

I never heard of Nicholas Wapshott before Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, and Keynes Hayek, but he's quickly becomming my favorite writer and biographer.

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  • DK
  • 05-07-14

Great Recap of 2 Incredible Leaders In Dangerous

What did you like best about this story?

<br/>Publisher's Summary<br/>It is well known that Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher were close allies and kindred political spirits. During their eight overlapping years in office, the U.S. president and the U.K. prime minister worked together to promote lower taxes, deregulation, free trade, and an aggressive stance against the Soviet Union.<br/><br/>But according to Nicholas Wapshott, the Reagan/Thatcher relationship was much deeper than an alliance of mutual interests. Drawing on interviews with those closest to them, as well as on hundreds of recently declassified private letters and telephone calls, Wapshott depicts a more complex, personal, and sometimes argumentative relationship than has previously been revealed.<br/>

0 of 1 people found this review helpful