Thatcher provides an accessible and scholarly introduction to the personality and career of Britain’s first female political leader and the twentieth century’s longest serving Prime Minister. Providing a balanced narrative and assessment of one of the most significant figures of the post-war era, this new biography examines the reasons why Margaret Thatcher has been admired by many as an architect of national revival, yet loathed by others as the author of widening social and geographical division.
The book begins by examining the making of Margaret Thatcher, her education, the beginning of her political career and her rise through the Conservative Party to her appointment as unexpected leader. Moving on to her tenure as Prime Minister, Graham Goodlad then examines her impact at home and abroad, covering her controversial economic policies and hard line with the trade unions, leadership through the Falklands conflict and during the last decade of the Cold War, and influence on Britain’s relationship with a more closely integrated Europe. Finally, the biography closes with a review of Thatcher’s legacy before and after her death in April 2013, and considers how far she shaped the politics and society of the 1980s and those of our own time.
Thatcher is essential reading for all students of twentieth-century history and politics.
Table of Contents
Chronology Introduction. 1. From corner shop to cabinet room 1925-1970 2. The unexpected leader: 1970-1979 3. The challenges of office: 1979-82 4. Post-imperial fall-out: Rhodesia, Hong Kong and the Falklands, 1979-1984 5. Establishing supremacy: 1982-1985 6. Pinnacle of power: 1985-1988 7. The troubled Union: Northern Ireland, 1979-1990 8. Between the superpowers: 1979-1990 9. Building and resisting European union: 1979-1990 10. Decline and fall: 1988-1990 11. Life after political death: 1990-2013 12. The Thatcher legacy Further Reading Index
Graham Goodlad is Head of Politics at St John’s College, Southsea. His most recent publication (with Robert Pearce) is British Prime Ministers from Balfour to Brown (Routledge, 2013).
"This excellent summary of Thatcher's career and impact combines a thorough coverage of the issues with clear and concise analysis. It is ideally suited for student use."
Stuart Ball, University of Leicester, UK
"By far the best single-volume biography of Margaret Thatcher’s life. I would recommend it to colleagues and students alike without hesitation."
Benjamin Grob-Fitzgibbon, University of Arkansas, USA