About Simon Jenkins
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Author Interview  
Author, Simon Jenkins

Simon Jenkins

About Simon Jenkins

An Interview with Simon Jenkins

More About Simon Jenkins

Simon Jenkins, author of England’s Thousand Best Churches, is an award-winning journalist, a member of the Millennium Commission, and chair of the Buildings Books Trust.

Thatcher & Sons by Simon Jenkins


The history of Britain in the last thirty years, under both Conservative and Labour governments, has been dominated by one figure - Margaret Thatcher. Her election marked a decisive break with the past and her premiership transformed not just her country, but the nature of democratic leadership.

When Thatcher came to power in 1979, she inherited the Britain of the three-day week, the Winter of Discontent, and the Sick Man of Europe. Twenty years on, Britain’s economy became the most dynamic in Europe and London the most cosmopolitan city in the world, as the Labour government took Thatcher’s ideas further than ever before.

But by 2006, Britain was the most heavily regulated country in the non-socialist world, with every aspect of public activity relentlessly audited, and power more rigorously centralized than in any other mature democracy. The great instrument of centralization and audit was the Treasury, whose Thatcherite policies were carried to their apogee by the most controlling Chancellor of modern times, Gordon Brown.

Pithy, passionate and polemical, Simon Jenkins’s book explains the two Thatcherite revolutions, one of good, the other of bad effect, and how we have come to be where we are - prosperous but perplexed, economically liberated and spoilt for ‘choice' but less and less equal, infantilized by targets, overwhelmed by bureaucracy and frustrated by a politics which values spin over substance. He shows how 'of Thatcherism’s three Prime Ministers, Blair was the most Thatcherite’, privatizing far more relentlessly than Thatcher herself, and how he and Brown became her most loyal sons. It is his ‘argued history’ of Britain in the last twenty-five years, to which he gives a shape and coherence no other commentator has yet matched.

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