Richard Vinen at Literary Review:
At the centre of this book is Thatcher’s fall. Moore describes the ‘tragic spectacle of a woman’s greatness overborne by the littleness of men’. He talks of ‘conspiracy’ and ‘witchery’. There is another explanation for Thatcher’s overthrow. She succeeded in the early 1980s when she worked with the grain of the establishment – civil servants as well as Tory politicians. Not all of those who supported her were keen on monetarism, which was why monetary policy became suppler after 1981, but they were exercised by trade union power and relative economic decline. Thatcher brought a galvanising energy to government and she helped the Conservative Party appeal to a new kind of electorate, but the central policies of her government were supported by a broad coalition that extended across and beyond her party. In fact, Thatcher was often more nervous than her colleagues and advisers when it came to specific policies. However, by 1989, her domestic aims had been achieved and Thatcher herself had become a liability rather than an asset. As for ‘conspiracy’, well, politics, Tory politics in particular, is a permanent conspiracy. Few Conservative MPs, however stupid, lazy or drunk, do not entertain the fantasy that they might one day be prime minister. Of course the men who overthrew Thatcher thought about their own careers, but so what?