Britain's first female prime minister remains a political figure of almost mythical proportions. Margaret Thatcher divided a political nation, became a cultural icon, and was the longest-serving prime minister of the twentieth century. Her period in government coincided with extraordinary changes in British society and in Britain's place in the world.
Thatcher's Britaintells the story of Thatcherism for a generation with no personal memories of the 80s, as well as for those who want to revisit the polemics of their youth. It seeks to rescue Thatcher from being seen as John the Baptist for Tony Blair, stresses that Thatcherism was not a timeless phenomenon, but rooted in the 70s and 80s, and focuses our attention away from her legend, to what her government actually did during this tumultuous period in British history.
Richard Vinen teaches history at King's College London. His most recent books are A History in Fragments: Europe in the Twentieth Century and The Unfree French: Life under the Occupation. He reviews regularly for the Independent and the Times Literary Supplement. He has also served as historical consultant for the Sun's book of the millenium -- Hold Ye Front Page.