David Cannadine: How Should We Rank Margaret Thatcher?Roundup: Talking About History
David Cannadine is a professor of history at Princeton and the author, most recently, of “The Undivided Past: Humanity Beyond Our Differences.”
...Mrs. Thatcher was a more complex personality and contradictory politician than the true-blue-rinse, pearls-and-twin-set, Britannia-meets-Gloriana caricature so beloved by her admirers and reviled by her opponents. She achieved more as a woman in public life than ever seemed possible in her generation; but feminists reciprocated her undoubted dislike of them; and having married a rich man, she enjoyed many advantages denied to most of her gender. She also claimed to be a “conviction politician”; but before 1974, those convictions were the conventional welfare-state pieties of postwar consensus Toryism, and she won the 1979 general election by not being Labour rather than by being the Thatcherite she later became.
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