Thatcher and Thatcherism

3rd Edition

By Eric J. Evans

© 2013 – Routledge

224 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415660198
pub: 2013-01-28
US Dollars$39.95
Hardback: 9780415660181
pub: 2013-01-28
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About the Book

This fully revised and updated third edition of Thatcher and Thatcherism examines the origins and impact of ‘Thatcherism’ as a cultural construct and an economic creed from the 1970s to the formation of a coalition government in 2010.

Focusing on the career of Margaret Thatcher, Eric J. Evans questions both the originality and the ideological coherence of Thatcherism were illusory. He argues that Thatcherism was a bold experiment in ideologically driven government. But also that, despite Thatcher’s political dominance, failed to meet its main objectives.

He includes discussion of:

  • privatisation policies and the challenge to trade union power;
  • how Thatcher changed and controlled the Conservative Party;
  • Britain’s slow economic decline and Thatcher’s attempt to ‘turn Britain around’;
  • the legacy of the Falklands conflict and Thatcher’s approach to Europe;
  • the approach to the professional ethic, including education, the civil service and crime;
  • the influence of Thatcherism on succeeding governments from Major, through New Labour and down to the Cameron-Clegg coalition.

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 1970’s to the present day.


'This is the first text in the field and, as a lecturer, I am very grateful for it.' - D. Rothewell, University of Edinburgh

'This is a startling account of Thatcher which is both analytical and ironic in equal proportions. It provides very useful, balanced accounts.' - Mike Owens, University of Derby

'An excellent contribution to the continuing debate about this vitally important period.' - David Russell, Bolton Institute of Higher Education

Table of Contents

Preface. Chronology. 1. The 1970s: Explanations and Origins 2. Election and Depression, 1979-81 3. Thatcher Triumphant 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 8. Thatcher Abroad II: Defence and the Americas 9. Thatcher Abroad III: Influence and Prejudice 10. The Fall 11. The Thatcher Legacy I: The Major Years 1990-97 12. The Thatcher Legacy II: The New Labour Experiment 13. Interpretations. 14. Conclusion. Notes. Guide to Further Reading. Index

About the Author

Eric J. Evans is Emeritus Professor at Lancaster University. 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 (3rd Edition, 2001). The Shaping of Modern Britain: Identity, Industry and Empire, 1780-1914 (2011).

About the Series

The Making of the Contemporary World

The Making of the Contemporary World series provides accessible interpretations of contemporary issues and debates within strongly defined historical frameworks. The range of the series is global, with each volume drawing together material from a range of disciplines - including economics, politics and sociology. The books in this series present compact, indispensable introductions for students studying the modern world.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain
HISTORY / Modern / 20th Century