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Margaret Thatcher was one of the most controversial figures of modern times. Her governments inspired hatred and veneration in equal measure and her legacy remains fiercely contested. Yet assessments of the Thatcher era are often divorced from any larger historical perspective. This book draws together leading historians to locate Thatcher and Thatcherism within the political, social, cultural and economic history of modern Britain. It explores the social and economic crises of the 1970s; Britain's relationships with Europe, the Commonwealth and the United States; and the different experiences of Thatcherism in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The book assesses the impact of the Thatcher era on class and gender and situates Thatcherism within the Cold War, the end of Empire and the rise of an Anglo-American 'New Right'. Drawing on the latest available sources, it opens a wide-ranging debate about the Thatcher era and its place in modern British history.
Table of Contents
Introduction: varieties of Thatcherism
'Crisis? What crisis?': Thatcherism and the seventies
The think-tank archipelago: Thatcherism and neo-liberalism
Thatcher, monetarism and the politics of inflation
Thatcherism, morality and religion
'A nation or no nation?': Enoch Powell and Thatcherism
Thatcher and the women's vote
Margaret Thatcher and the decline of class politics
Defiant dominoes: working miners and the 1984-85 strike
Thatcherism, unionism and nationalism: a comparative study of Scotland and Wales
'Just another country?': the Irish question in the Thatcher years
Thatcherism and the Wider World
Thatcherism and the Cold War
Europe and America
Decolonisation and imperial aftershocks: the Thatcher years
Appendices Prepared by
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