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Martha Duffy - Roses, Roses, All the way 汉译

2014-06-03    来源:网络    【      美国外教 在线口语培训
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Roses, Roses, All the way

Martha Duffy

It has now been five years since Margaret Thatcher resigned as Britain’s Prime Minister. In her heyday she strode the international headlines with such bravura that she seemed inevitable, a natural force. The world stage seemed just the right size for her, as she chaffed her conservative soul mate Ronald Reagan or flattered the “new man”, Mikhail Gorbachev.

Now the political world has begun to focus on the immensity of her achievement. How on earth did she manage to get there? She was elected to Parliament at 32 in 1958 (five years before the Feminine Mystique was published). She parried her way through the complacent, male-dominated councils of power—no woman had ever roiled those waters. Couldn’t the old boys see her coming? After all, there was nothing subtle about her personality or her approach.

As The Path to Power (Harper-Collins; 656 pages; $30), the second volume of her autobiography, makes clear, Thatcher was probably too simple and direct for the Tories, with their heavy baggage of class and compromise. She traveled light, proud of her roots as a grocer’s daughter from the small town of Grantham but never tethered by working-class resentments or delusions of inferiority. Her parents taught her the verities they believed in: Methodism, hard work, thrift and the importance of the individual. She has never wavered from them, and they run through the book.

“Nothing in our house was wasted.” Or, “I had less leisure time than other children.” These are boasts of a childhood recalled in tranquility. Late they became a philosophy: “Being conservative is never merely a matter of income, but a whole way of life, a will to take responsibility for oneself.”

From the start, she notes almost with bemusement, there was a contrast between her own “executive style” and her colleagues’ “more consultive style.” Thatcher laid down the law. In her 11-year leadership, she broke the crippling power of British unions, made many thousands of her countrymen homeowners, strengthened British ties with the U.S. and the Soviet Union and gave voice to Britain’s reluctance about joining Europe, a reluctance that still plagues her successor, John Major.

The Downing Street Years, the first volume of her memoirs, covered her time in power. This one is more interesting and better fun, a formidable leader looking back on her early winning battles. She is known now as the Iron Lady, but as a pretty, naive young pol who cut through cant, prevarication and some very real problems, she must have been exhilarating. Her rise, as she once described the star-is-born press coverage that greeted her maiden speech in commons, was “roses, roses all the way.”

In a final section on the ‘90s political scene, she calls for renewed dedication to her principles. The imperiled John Major cannot take comfort in the timing of The Path to Power. Thatcher has relentlessly flogged the book in Britain and the U.S., giving TV interviews that scourge what she sees as the collapse of her country’s leadership. The one thing she doesn’t say is that as this old century draws to a close, there simply aren’t that many leaders. Thatcher was one.









(刘士聪 译)

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