About this Book
Treating Thatcher's years in power as history rather than current controversy, Dellheim embeds her program and political convictions into the undulating swell of Britain's rich past. Reaching for his theme as far back as the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, Dellheim builds a framework of Britain's anticapitalist sentiment that culminated in the socialist edifice erected by the Atlee government. This Thatcher sought to dismantle, and Dellheim delivers a sharp and persuasive analysis of Britain's deteriorating fiscal and monetary condition in the decade before she was able to implement her plan in 1979. It entailed squeezing out inflation, breaking the unions and selling off state-owned industries. The critics' howling, mostly from the intellectual class, was tremendous and not untinged with condescension toward Thatcher's petit bourgeois background and penchant for Victorian homilies. The market: creator of wealth or inflicter of inequality? The 1980s answer to that question as studied by Dellheim becomes fluidly readable and provocative, for his conclusions will please neither Thatcherites nor Thatcher-hates, the self-evident sign of balanced, quality work.