This revised, expanded and updated fourth edition of Thatcher and Thatcherism examines the origins and impact of ‘Thatcherism’ both as a cultural construct and an economic creed from the 1970s to the formation of a coalition government in 2010. New to this edition is an extended exploration of Thatcher’s impact outside of the UK, as well as an examination of the assessments published following her death in 2013, providing students with a greater understanding of the legacy of Thatcherism within the modern political landscape.
Focusing on the career of Margaret Thatcher, Eric J. Evans questions both the originality and the ideological coherence of what came to be called ‘Thatcherism’ and considers to what extent it met, or failed to meet, its main objectives.
Key topics discussed within the book include:
- Privatisation policies and the attack on trade union power and influence;
- How Thatcher changed and controlled the late twentieth-century Conservative Party;
- The legacy of the Falklands War;
- Thatcher’s relations with Europe – East and West;
- Thatcher’s approach to the professional ethic;
- The influence of Thatcherism on succeeding governments: Major and ‘New Labour’;
- Neo-liberalism and its influence on, and under, Thatcher.
With comprehensive suggestions for further reading and explanation of the economic, social and historical context of Britain in the late 1970s and 1980s, Thatcher and Thatcherism is an invaluable guide to the complexities and paradoxes of Britain from the late 1970s to the second decade of the twenty-first century.
Table of Contents
Preface to the fourth edition
1 The 1970s: explanations and origins
2 Election and depression, 1979–81
3 Thatcher triumphant, 1982–88
4 Thatcherism and the Conservative Party
5 The attack on the government ethic
6 The attack on the professional ethic
7 Thatcher abroad I: Europe, East and West
8 Thatcher abroad II: defence and the Americas
9 Thatcher abroad III: the global statesman
10 The fall: the significance of the Westland affair
11 The Thatcher legacy I: the Major years 1990–97
12 The Thatcher legacy II: the New Labour experiment
Guide to further reading
Eric J. Evans is Emeritus Professor of Modern History at Lancaster University, UK. His many books include Sir Robert Peel: Statesmanship, Power and Party (2nd Edition, 2006), The Forging of the Modern State: Early Industrial Britain, 1783–1870 (4th Edition, 2018), The Shaping of Modern Britain: Identity, Industry and Empire, 1780–1914 (2011) and Britain Before the Reform Act Politics and Society 1815–1832 (2nd Edition, 2008).
'A timely and useful update of a classic text which puts into perspective the background, history and legacy of Thatcherism.'
Bryn Willcock, Swansea University, UK
'A most accessible and up-to-date explanation of both the person and the ism; and also the legacies – the long shadow – that even posthumously are still with us.'
Martin Farr, Newcastle University, UK