LONDON – Margaret Thatcher was Britain’s greatest twentieth-century peacetime prime minister. In the 1980’s, the near-simultaneous crisis of communism in the East and social democracy in the West gave her the opportunity to do great deeds. But it required a great leader to take advantage of it.
Her relationship with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev opened up the way to ending the Cold War; her privatization policies showed the world how to dismantle state socialism. The neo-liberal revival of the 1980’s will always be known as the Reagan-Thatcher revolution.