The Anatomy of Thatcherism

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Transaction Publishers, Jan 1, 1993 - History - 377 pages
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The Anatomy of Thatcherism explains how, for the first time In British history, a prime minister's name has become an 'Ism'‚ a symbol of a profound social change. Letwln argues that Thatcherism promoted a moral agenda rather than an economic doctrine or a political theory in order to achieve a fundamental realignment in British politics. She introduces a new terms‚ "the vigorous virtues"‚ to describe what Thatcherites have aimed to cultivate in Individual Britons and In the country as a whole.

Her definition of Thatcherism is supported by a detailed analysis of the principal Thatcherite policies and the grounds on which they were advocated and opposed, Inside and outside the Conservative Party. Without departing from a lucid and lively style or resorting to technical jargon. Dr. Letwln explains such innovations as schools opting out, budget holding by GPs, and the creation of the first ever competitive spot market in electricity. Just how did the Thatcherite administrations shape the reform of the unions? How is the Thatcherite attitude to the family connected with Thatcherite policies on schools? Why does mon¬≠etarism appear‚ wrongly‚ to be at the heart of Thatcherism?

The Anatomy of Thatcherism is a bold and searching book about how Britain changed between 1979 and 1992. It challenges many truisms about British politics, and Is indispensable reading both for those who believe in the future relevance of Thatcherism and for those who want to demolish it. And it will be of particular interest to those con­cerned with the history of British politics, as It shows how Thatcherism both arose out of, and confronted, trends that had per­meated Conservatism for the entire twentieth century.

 

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Contents

Prologue I
1
A Bundle of Attributes
17
The Vigorous Virtues
26
The Importance of Being an Owner
97
An Attitude
114
Goodbye to Social Contracts
130
The Illusion of Local Government
159
Invalids or Consumers?
199
Thatcher versus Bismarck
228
We British
277
The Response to Thatcherism
309
A British Individualism
333
Reference Notes
354
Index
365
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