Chris Collins: Historian works to show Thatcher's flaws, feats

Historians in the News

Britain's former prime minister was very accomplished but also very human, he tells Tulsans.

It's a odd experience to meet an iconic figure such as former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

"It's kind of a shock," explained Chris Collins, Monday's speaker at the Tulsa Press Club, "to see a famous person in the room, real live, actually and really there."

A British historian who edited Thatcher's memoirs, Collins has made it his mission to make the "Iron Lady" seem very real indeed, not only for his fellow historians but for the general public, as well.

With Thatcher's full cooperation, Collins has helped assemble her complete archives for an elaborate Web site that is proving invaluable for researchers and of great interest to ordinary voters, too -- on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.

"It's given me a deeper admiration and understanding of Margaret Thatcher," Collins said, speaking as part of the Press Club's Page One luncheon series. "And it has given me a sort of sympathy for people who go into politics. It's a very difficult job and one that we don't understand very well."

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