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Statecraft Reviews

Review one

In this brilliant book, Thatcher discusses the state of the world at the start of the 21st century and the way forward, drawing on her considerable experience and keen insights. Chapter One: cold war reflections, touches on many subjects from the information revolution to the victory of the West in the cold war. Chapter Two looks at the American achievement including the concept of a unipolar world, military preparedness, defence technologies and missile defence.

Chapter Three deals with Russia, the legacy of communism, the role of the IMF, the failed economic reforms, the country's relations with its former Soviet colonies and what remains of its military power. Part One of Chapter Four explains why Asia, with half of the world's population and a third of all dry land, matters so much. Part Two deals with the Tigers: Singapore, South Korea and Indonesia, whilst Part Three is devoted to Japan. The next chapter, Asian Giants, deals with China (including Taiwan and Hong Kong) and India.

In Chapter Six, rogue states, religion and terrorism are discussed, with particular reference to North Korea, Islam, Iraq, Syria, Lybia and Iran. In Chapter Seven, Thatcher discusses human rights, genocide, the Yugoslavia and Rwanda criminal tribunals, the international criminal court and European court of human rights.

Chapter Eight investigates the Balkan wars whilst Chapter Nine is devoted to the European Union. Thatcher investigates the roots of the European idea, the European economic and social model, the pensions crisis, the common agricultural policy, the Euro currency as a means towards a superstate and the bureaucratic, anti-democratic nature of the EU.

Thatcher warns against the creeping loss of sovereignty to unaccountable EU bureaucrats who have only contempt for democracy. The next chapter looks at the current situation of the UK by investigating all the options of how her country might extricate itself from this mess. She advises Britain to stick to the Pound and to renegotiate the structure of the EU.

The last chapter strikes a devastating blow to the critics of capitalism by illustrating how well the free economies have been performing as opposed to the shackled economies of the remaining authoritarian regimes. She also dissects the absurdities of the global warming scare and discusses globalism and its enemies.

The postscript deals with accountability and the Magna Carta in a delightful description of Thatcher and her husband's visit to the memorial at Runnymede. She concludes the book with the observation that the political culture of the English-speaking peoples has given the world the ideas that power should be limited, force should not overrule justice plus the conviction that individuals have an absolute moral worth.

There are 20 full color photographs, 13 maps and 8 tables that enhances this highly readable and illuminating text. Bibliographic references are scattered throughout and the book concludes with a thorough index.

Review two

When you read this book you start thinking, 'You know, this woman would make a good Prime Minister'. She wrote it before September 11th 2001 but interestingly not much has changed in the few years since, and her analysis stands up. Managing even a small company is a big task, so much more so the whole world, and Thatcher has her own unique writing style and take on humanity which makes her well worth listening to. While anyone can argue anything and pretend that things are not what they really are, Thatcher deals in realities: human beings are not going to stop being violent / greedy / treacherous / stupid / mad - so how do we manage it best? Her convictions about the hopelessness of socialism and communism are strong and well put. While her other books deal with her own personal road to power, and her time at No. 10, this book is better because it is broader. This is her vision of life. Few of us realise the true value of politics as we watch it go by day by day. We fail to see that the only reason we are able to love, travel, work, maintain our health and live prosperous lives largely free of horrible diseases and wars is because our elders and betters have thought everything through for us before we were even born. The vast, ignorant majority have absolutely no clue how bad things can actually get if the State and the legal system fall apart.

Thatcher demands no particular credit for herself - she just puts her case, provides her analysis and tells you how dangerous she thinks Europe and the UN could be, if left unchecked. This is a very well-written, intelligent and powerful book that makes biographies by John Major and Nigel Lawson seem petty.

Review three

I found Mrs. Thatcher's book to be informative and entertaining. Her dry humour and witty writing style helped me enjoy this book. I recommend this book to everybody who is interested in world affairs, Mrs. Thatcher's insight is incredible and I found myself agreeing with her points. I found her sections regarding the EU particularly interesting and feel that her case is a valid one. My compliments to Mrs. Thatcher for a well written and thought provoking book.