Thatcher a divisive figure, even in death

Margaret Thatcher, the former prime minister of Britain, died Monday following a stroke at the age of 87. From her obituary:

During her career, Mrs. Thatcher was frequently at war with consensus, which she disdained as the abandonment of “all beliefs, principles, values and policies.” At a low point in her popularity ratings, facing a clamor for change from her own party members, she gave a defiant response: “You turn if you want to,” she declared. “This lady’s not for turning.”

Claire Berlinski writes that Thatcher is often misunderstood. She knew how to compromise, and “her genius was her gift for choosing her battles wisely and avoiding those she couldn’t win.”

Thatcher will be given a ceremonial funeral with military honors. Find a chronology of her life, and a list of quotations from her speeches and interviews.

The British remembered Thatcher and her long tenure as prime minister Monday:

The political right particularly mourned the loss of its matriarch, a woman who laid the foundation of Britain’s modern, globalized economy and reinvigorated the relevance of a nation that, when she came to power, had entered a period of accelerated decline.

Even some on the left — who consider Thatcher the bane of the common man, a leader bent destroying the welfare state — acknowledged the loss of a formidable woman who, they said, can be justifiably credited — or blamed — for the modern British state. (Read the rest of the story here.)

At Wonkblog, Dylan Matthews reviews Thatcher’s economic record. Max Fisher writes about her complicated relationship with President Ronald Reagan at WorldViews, and explains how she acquired her sobriquet, the Iron Lady. Post opinion writer George Will calls her “the most formidable woman in 20th-century politics and England’s most formidable woman since its greatest sovereign, Elizabeth I.” Meryl Streep also made a statement on Thatcher’s passing.

Read The Post’s editorial board on Thatcher’s death here.

Max Ehrenfreund is a blogger on the Financial desk and writes for Know More and Wonkblog.
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