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March 30 , 2010

Margaret Thatcher

A Portrait of the Iron Lady


This book is John Blundell's personal portrait of Margaret Thatcher, the woman who was the pivotal point of the rescue of a country, a woman who woke up her nation and made it once again a world leader. It is not only the story of her life but also an examination of the ideas, interests, and circumstances surrounding key events.

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The author illustrates Thatcher's decisive style in handling potentially explosive issues, her sang-froid, and her charm through numerous vignettes and quotes. He relates the facts of Margaret Thatcher's terms in power and explains how policy reforms and political perspectives that are now taken for granted in Britain had to be fought for.

The transformation she brought to the United Kingdom was stunning on many fronts. Pre-Thatcher, Blundell says, a sclerotic union-dominated economy was typified by surly service, poor products and a "craven" business class. Post-Thatcher even the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), an exemplar of what Americans call the "liberal media," extended its coverage of the private business sector quite considerably, such is the emphasis on the values of capitalism in today's society. Service and product quality have been improved many times over. The choice and level of quality and service that had so impressed the author on his first visits to the U.S. in 1974 was becoming commonplace in the UK by the end of her terms as Prime Minister.

When Margaret Thatcher donated 3m to the Heritage Foundation inWashington, DC, to establish the Thatcher Center, it was John Blundell who proposedthe toast to her in front of the 500+ audience assembled to mark theoccasion. As the Iron Lady said, herself, John is very well placed to explain to Americans the beliefs and principles which underpinned what became known as "Thatcherism".

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