Conflict of Loyalty

Geoffrey Howe, Author
Geoffrey Howe, Author St. Martin's Press $35 (0p) ISBN 978-0-312-12533-2
Reviewed on: 03/01/1999
Release date: 03/01/1999
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This political autobiography affords a scathing look at Britain's ``Thatcher revolution'' by the man who well-nigh engineered it. Cambridge-educated Tory Sir Geoffrey Howe, born in 1921 in a Welsh town, was successively Treasury chancellor, foreign secretary and deputy prime minister during Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's 11-year reign. He and the ``Iron Lady,'' however, became estranged when Howe's support for a single European market clashed with Thatcher's narrow nationalism, leading to his dismissal as foreign secretary, followed by his bitter resignation as deputy P.M. in 1990, which triggered the collapse of Thatcher's government. Howe provides a detailed reappraisal of his uneasy partnership with Thatcher, whom he portrays as a bullying, self-destructive autocrat. He makes a cogent case that he was instrumental in many of her reforms, including deregulation of key industries. Photos. (May)
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