Note - this program was originally scheduled for Monday, January 25 and was rescheduled for Tuesday, January 26.
In June 1983 Margaret Thatcher won the biggest increase in a government’s parliamentary majority in British electoral history. Over the next four years, as Charles Moore relates, Britain’s first woman prime minister changed the course of her country’s history and that of the world, often by sheer force of will. Mrs. Thatcher transformed relations with Europe, privatized the commanding heights of British industry and continued the reinvigoration of the British economy. For the only time since Churchill, she ensured that Britain had a central place in dealings between the superpowers.
But even at her zenith she was beset by difficulties. Reagan would deceive her during the U.S. invasion of Grenada. She lost the minister to whom she was personally closest to scandal and faced calls for her resignation. She found herself isolated within her own government. She was at odds with the Queen over the Commonwealth and South Africa. She bullied senior colleagues and set in motion the poll tax. These last two would return to wound her, fatally.
Charles Moore has had unprecedented access to all of Mrs. Thatcher’s private and government papers. Through frank interviews with the participants in the events described and the Prime Minister’s own vigorous document annotations, this titanic figure, with all her capabilities and her flaws, appears in unparalleled detail.
Charles Moore was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge. He joined the staff of The Daily Telegraph in 1979, and as a political columnist in the 1980s covered several years of Mrs. Thatcher’s first and second governments. He was editor of The Spectator (1984 to 1990); editor of The Sunday Telegraph (1992 to 1995); and editor of The Daily Telegraph (1995 to 2003), for which he is still a regular columnist. The first volume of his biography of Margaret Thatcher, published in 2013, has won multiple awards for distinguished achievement in biography and history.
More About the Speakers
Nile Gardiner, Ph.D.
Director, Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom