This revised, expanded and updated fourth edition of Thatcher and Thatcherism examines the origins and impact of ‘Thatcherism’ both as a cultural construct and an economic creed from the 1970s to the formation of a coalition government in 2010. New to this edition is an extended exploration of Thatcher’s impact outside of the UK, as well as an examination of the assessments published following her death in 2013, providing students with a greater understanding of the legacy of Thatcherism within the modern political landscape.

Focusing on the career of Margaret Thatcher, Eric J. Evans questions both the originality and the ideological coherence of what came to be called ‘Thatcherism’ and considers to what extent it met, or failed to meet, its main objectives.

Key topics discussed within the book include:

  • Privatisation policies and the attack on trade union power and influence;
  • How Thatcher changed and controlled the late twentieth-century Conservative Party;
  • The legacy of the Falklands War;
  • Thatcher’s relations with Europe – East and West;
  • Thatcher’s approach to the professional ethic;
  • The influence of Thatcherism on succeeding governments: Major and ‘New Labour’;
  • Neo-liberalism and its influence on, and under, Thatcher.

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 1970s to the second decade of the twenty-first century.

chapter 1|15 pages

The 1970s

Explanations and origins

chapter 2|12 pages

Election and depression, 1979–81

chapter 3|25 pages

Thatcher triumphant, 1982–88

chapter 4|13 pages

Thatcherism and the Conservative Party

chapter 5|14 pages

The attack on the government ethic

chapter 6|15 pages

The attack on the professional ethic

chapter 7|13 pages

Thatcher abroad I

Europe, East and West

chapter 8|13 pages

Thatcher abroad II

Defence and the Americas

chapter 9|15 pages

Thatcher abroad III

The global statesman

chapter 10|11 pages

The fall

The significance of the Westland affair

chapter 11|8 pages

The Thatcher legacy I

The Major years 1990–97

chapter 12|16 pages

The Thatcher legacy II

The New Labour experiment

chapter 13|21 pages


chapter 14|7 pages