Most recent Thatcher obituary
Iron Lady, dead at 87
By Gregory Katz and Robert Barr
LONDON _ Love her or loathe her, one thing's beyond dispute: Margaret Thatcher transformed Britain. The Iron Lady who ruled for 11 remarkable years imposed her will on a fractious, rundown nation _ breaking the unions, triumphing in a far-off war, and selling off state industries at a record pace. She left behind a leaner government and more prosperous nation by the time a mutiny ousted her from No. 10 Downing Street.
The relatively quick triumph of British forces revived Thatcher's political fortunes, which had been faltering along with the British economy. She won an overwhelming victory in 1983, tripling her majority in the House of Commons.
She trusted her gut instinct, famously concluding early on that Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev represented a clear break in the Soviet tradition of autocratic rulers. She pronounced that the West could "do business" with him, a position that influenced Reagan's vital dealings with Gorbachev in the twilight of the Soviet era.
It was a bitter end for Thatcher's active political career _ her family said she felt a keen sense of betrayal even years later.
Thatcher wrote several best-selling memoirs after leaving office and was a frequent speaker on the international circuit before she suffered several small strokes that in 2002 led her to curtail her lucrative public speaking career.