Thursday, 19 June 2014

The Two Hotel Francforts, Margaret Thatcher, (1/e)

The Two Hotel Francforts by David Leavitt from Bloomsbury India.

It is the summer of 1940, and Lisbon is one of the only neutral ports left in Europe – a city filled with spies, crowned heads and refugees of every nationality, tipping back absinthe to while away the time until their escape. Awaiting safe passage to New York on the S. S. Manhattan, two couples meet: Pete and Julia Winters, expatriate Americans fleeing their sedate life in Paris; and Edward and Iris Freleng, elegant, independently wealthy, bohemian, and beset by the social and sexual anxieties of their class. Swept up in the tumult, the hidden currents of the lives of these four characters – Julia's status as a Jew, Pete and Edward's affair, Iris's increasingly desperate efforts to save her tenuous marriage – begin to come loose. This journey will change the four of them irrevocably, as Europe sinks into war.

In our Fiction section, Rs. 399, in paperback, 272 pages, ISBN: 9781408815151

Margaret Thatcher, (1/e): Power and Personality by Jonathan Aitken from Bloomsbury India.

As Britain’s first woman Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher brought about the biggest social and political revolution in the nation’s post-war history. She achieved this largely by the driving force of her personality – a subject of endless speculation among both her friends and her foes.

Jonathan Aitken has an insider’s view of Margaret Thatcher’s story. He is well qualified to explore her strong and sometimes difficult personality during half a century of political dramas. From first meeting her when she was a junior shadow minister in the mid 1960s, during her time as leader of the Opposition when he was a close family friend, and as a Member of Parliament throughout her years in power, Aitken had a ring side seat at many private and public spectacles in the Margaret Thatcher saga.

From his unique vantage point, Aitken brings new light to many crucial episodes of Thatcherism. They include her ousting of Ted Heath, her battles with her Cabinet, the Falklands War, the Miners’ Strike, her relationships with world leaders such as Ronald Reagan, Mikhail Gorbachev and King Fahd of Saudi Arabia and the build up to the Shakespearian coup inside the Conservative Party which brought about her downfall.

Drawing on his own diaries, and a wealth of extensive research including some ninety interviews which range from international statesmen like Mikhail Gorbachev, Henry Kissinger and Lord Carrington to many of her No.10 private secretaries and personal friends, Jonathan Aitken’s Margaret Thatcher – Power and Personality breaks new ground as a fresh and fascinating portrait of the most influential political leader of post-war Britain.

In our Biography section, Rs. 799, in hardback, 784 pages, ISBN: 9781408831847

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