IN TWEET: DIVISIVE, DARING, LOVED AND HATED. MARGARET THATCHER, BRITAIN’S FIRST FEMALE PRIME MINISTER, WAS ALL THOSE THINGS AND MORE. SHE DIED YESTERDAY IN LONDON AT THE AGE OF 87.
Margaret Thatcher, who died yesterday in London from a stroke, was many things to many people. She was as loved as she was despised; a hard line Conservative who forever changed the course of history in the UK and beyond. No matter how you feel about Thatcher the politician, there is no denying that Thatcher the person was a trailblazer in every sense of the word.
Given her humble roots and the incredible roadblocks Thatcher faced in the early years of her political career, that she won any seat in Parliament is a minor miracle. Keeping in mind that the U.S. has yet to elect a female president, her rise to Prime Minister in 1979 was a truly monumental achievement. Tough as nails and no-nonsense, Thatcher made more than her share of enemies both outside and within her own party. It was her habit of ignoring popular opinion and a steadfast resistance to compromise that ultimately ended an 11+ year run as PM.
I watched the film THE IRON LADY recently and was taken aback by two things: Meryl Streep’s stunning performance in the title role (seen in photo above) and the amount of respect I gained for Thatcher. The movie was not a hatchet job nor was that its purpose. It was an honest, balanced and often heartbreaking look at a brilliant and proud woman facing her own demons and worsening dementia. It also humanized Thatcher by adding warmth, dimension and depth to her public persona.
Politically, Thatcher and I are on opposite side of the spectrum but no one can deny her amazing record of achievements. She was a remarkable, flawed and complex person. She was also a fighter her whole life but, in the end, Thatcher lost the battle to the one foe she couldn’t vanquish…her own mortality.
As a matter of policy, I don’t include product sales links in LEGACY posts but I do recommend you screen THE IRON LADY when you can. I’ve also compiled these links to some of the better articles I read yesterday on the life and legacy of Margaret Thatcher:
CLICK HERE for UK-based coverage of Margaret Thatcher’s life and passing from The Guardian.
CLICK HERE for her obituary from the New York Times.
CLICK HERE for a look at 10 defining moments in the career of Margaret Thatcher by writer Morris Micklewhaite.
CLICK HERE for a critical look at her politics and policies from Time Magazine.