This book is an inside look at the the government during the Falklands War, which was fought in 1982 between Argentina and Britain. Both wanted sovereignty over these islands out in the Atlantic Sea, and instead of coming to a peaceful settlement, they fought each other, with Britain coming out victorious. This book is written by Tam Dalyell (a profile of him can be found here), who was a Labour MP who protested against the War. In his writings we see the events of the War pan out in front of us, along with what politicians were thinking and doing – and yes they were often different – and what he himself thought and would have done if he held power. He is critical of Margaret Thatcher and her way of dealing with the situation, and he is critical of how Parliament did not stand up and oppose her, they just went with what she declared, even though she often did not consult them.
I liked his writing. He gave a clear history of the Islands, the build up to war, and then the conflict itself. I liked his honesty and how he seemed prepared to lose his position for standing up and declaring what he thought. I liked how he assessed what happened, the cost, what might happen after the war and whether it was worth it.
This is a great historical source, giving an inside glance at what one politician thought, and conversations and how Parliament dealt with this crisis. He looks at other countries and what they thought too – all together fascinating. It is a short book, full of information and easy to read.