Clare Beckett

Margaret Thatcher was Britain’s first woman Prime Minister and the longest-serving head of government in the 20th century (1979-90), but also the only one to be removed from office in peacetime by pressure from within her own party. Her victory in the general election of 1979 begun an era which became synonymous with her name. ‘Thatcherism’ and ‘Thatcherite’ became part of the language, referring to her own brand of aggressive ‘conviction’ politics which rejected the broad consensus (characteristic of British attitudes since World War II), promoting instead the free play of market forces and dismantling of the restrictive practices of the trade unions.

CLARE BECKETT approaches the life of Margaret Thatcher from two distinct standpoints: from that of a social policy expert, looking at Thatcher’s huge impact on British social policy; and from the standpoint of a writer about gender and feminism, examining the meaning and effect of Britain’s first woman Prime Minister.

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