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.
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).
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