How Should We Rate Margaret Thatcher?

For Immediate Release:
November 20, 2013
Contact: Steven Woolfolk
How Should We Rate Margaret Thatcher?

When Margaret Thatcher died on April 8 this year, the disagreements over her funeral arrangements vividly demonstrated that she divided and polarized opinion as much in death as she had in life.  This is perhaps a fitting legacy for someone who loathed the concept of consensus, and who seemed to relish making enemies more than making friends.

Victor Bailey, Distinguished Professor of Modern British History at the University of Kansas, examines the political career of Margaret Thatcher, from her appointment as leader of the Conservative Party to her years as the first female and longest-serving Prime Minister of the 20th century, on Wednesday, December 4, 2013, at 6:30 p.m. at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.
Bailey also looks at Thatcher's efforts to transform Britain's ailing economy, roll back the frontiers of the state, bring trade unionism within the rule of law, and recover the Falkland Islands.

Even though they were members of different political parties, Bailey says, Thatcher was the single greatest influence on her successor, Tony Blair, who declined to indulge trade unions or advocate for a return to nationalized state industries.

In his presentation, Bailey seeks to answer these questions: What was Thatcherism?  Was it good or bad for Britain? How will Margaret Thatcher be rated as a prime minister?

A native of Yorkshire, England, Bailey is director of the Hall Center for the Humanities at the University of Kansas and the author of This Rash Act: Suicide Across the Life Cycle in the Victorian City; Policing and Punishment in Nineteenth Century Britain; and Delinquency and Citizenship: Reclaiming the Young Offender 1914-1948. He has been awarded the Walter D. Love Prize of the North American Conference on British Studies for best article in British history by a North American scholar and a W.T. Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence.

Admission is free. A 6 p.m. reception precedes the event. Free parking is available in the Library District parking garage at 10th & Baltimore.  RSVP at or call 816.701.3407.

Kansas City Public Library Beta