Making Thatchers Britain

Making Thatchers Britain

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Margaret Thatcher was one of the most controversial figures of modern times. Her governments inspired hatred and veneration in equal measure and her legacy remains fiercely contested. Yet assessments of the Thatcher era are often divorced from any larger historical perspective. This book draws together leading historians to locate Thatcher and Thatcherism within the political, social, cultural and economic history of modern Britain. It explores the social and economic crises of the 1970s; Britain's relationships with Europe, the Commonwealth and the United States; and the different experiences of Thatcherism in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The book assesses the impact of the Thatcher era on class and gender and situates Thatcherism within the Cold War, the end of Empire and the rise of an Anglo-American 'New Right'. Drawing on the latest available sources, it opens a wide-ranging debate about the Thatcher era and its place in modern British history.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 1139534181
  • 9781139534185

Table of contents

Introduction: varieties of Thatcherism Ben Jackson and Robert Saunders; Part I. Making Thatcherism: 1. 'Crisis? What crisis?': Thatcherism and the seventies Robert Saunders; 2. The think-tank archipelago: Thatcherism and neo-liberalism Ben Jackson; 3. Thatcher, monetarism and the politics of inflation Jim Tomlinson; 4. Thatcherism, morality and religion Matthew Grimley; 5. 'A nation or no nation?': Enoch Powell and Thatcherism Camilla Schofield; Part II. Thatcher's Britain: 6. Thatcher and the women's vote Laura Beers; 7. Margaret Thatcher and the decline of class politics Jon Lawrence and Florence Sutcliffe-Braithwaite; 8. Defiant dominoes: working miners and the 1984-5 strike David Howell; 9. Thatcherism, unionism and nationalism: a comparative study of Scotland and Wales Richard Finlay; 10. 'Just another country?': the Irish question in the Thatcher years Marc Mulholland; Part III. Thatcherism and the Wider World: 11. Thatcherism and the Cold War Richard Vinen; 12. Europe and America Andrew Gamble; 13. Decolonisation and imperial aftershocks: the Thatcher years Stephen Howe; Appendices Prepared by Peter Sloman; Further reading.
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Review quote

'Making Thatcher's Britain is a treasure trove of fresh thinking and new perspectives on a prime minister and a period that continue to fascinate us all. Each and every chapter fully merits its place in a collection which is as wide in its scope as it is measured in its judgements. For anyone seeking to understand the origins and the impact of Margaret Thatcher and her eponymous 'ism', Jackson and Saunders' book is truly a must-have.' Tim Bale, author of The Conservative Party: From Thatcher to Cameron 'A critical but fair-minded and contextual analysis of Thatcherism has long been overdue. The lucid and well-documented analyses provided in Making Thatcher's Britain indicate that younger historians are now on to the case, and are well able to carry the discussion into wider areas and at deeper levels than have so far been achieved.' Brian Harrison, University of Oxford 'Making Thatcher's Britain is a fascinating collection that illuminates a crucial period of recent history. Its essays demand a wide readership by exploring familiar territory in innovative ways while mapping new landscapes, including Thatcherism's impact upon class, its relationship to nationalism and the global context of Thatcher's Britain.' Stephen Brooke, York University, Toronto 'This impressive and wide-ranging volume assesses the nature of Thatcherism and the impact of the Thatcher governments in key areas of domestic politics and Britain's relations with the wider world. Its well-integrated collection of essays, written by acknowledged experts in their fields, provide lucid summaries and insightful analysis which will be of great value to both students and specialist researchers.' Stuart Ball, University of Leicester 'A devastating read.' The Tribune 'A perceptive collection of essays ... the best introduction to the historiographical problems of the Thatcher era.' New Statesman 'Required reading for undergraduates in contemporary British history and politics.' The Times Higher Education Supplement 'A further valuable contribution to the Thatcher debate.' Financial Times 'Making Thatcher's Britain is a solid contribution covering a range of important issues that helped define Margaret Thatcher's leadership and Britain at the end of the Cold War. The book is at its best analyzing Thatcher's domestic support and ideological influences and providing detail about the antecedents and evolution of Thatcherism. Furthermore, the appendices - including a timeline of events, electoral data, unemployment statistics, union membership, and government revenue tables - complement the arguments of change and continuity from 1979 to 1990 ... the book adds to our understanding of the sometimes contradictory policies and contested legacy of Thatcher's government by focusing on Thatcherism's intellectual roots, attraction, and consequences.' Ryan Shaffer, Journal of British Studies
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About Dr. Ben Jackson

Ben Jackson is a University Lecturer in Modern History at Oxford University and a Fellow of University College. He is the author of Equality and the British Left (2007). Robert Saunders is a Lecturer in History and Politics at Oxford University. He is the author of Democracy and the Vote in British Politics (2011).
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