In This Review

Mrs. Thatcher's Revolution: The Ending Of The Socialist Era
Mrs. Thatcher's Revolution: The Ending Of The Socialist Era
By Peter Jenkins
Harvard University Press, 1988, 417 pp

A brilliant study, by one of Britain's best-known commentators, of the Iron Lady ("ambition, in small-town girls and boys, is . . . a demonic force") and her "conviction politics." He sets her rule in the context of changes in British society, emphasizing that she benefited from the perceived malaise of the 1970s, from the recognized decline in the British economy, which she insisted was at bottom the result of a moral failing. Labour suffered from the social changes that gave the Tories and Thatcherism their chance. An analysis of the aims, achievements and great costs of the Thatcherite Revolution ("it is a revolution in half of Britain"), of her self-defined mission to "kill socialism." The book is enlivened by Jenkins' flair for depicting people: "For all the cant about politics being about issues, politics is more fun when it is about people." Full of biting asides, such as Mrs. Thatcher's remark about Reagan, whom she likes and admires: "Poor dear, there's nothing between his ears."