Britain: Thatcher's Time to Go

Facing a Tory revolt, Thatcher steps aside. Now her successor must attempt to match her considerable influence at home and abroad.

History keeps its own peculiar rhythms, sometimes rewarding the lowly and punishing the mighty with a brutal speed that leaves spectators gasping. Once imprisoned playwrights suddenly become Presidents (witness Vaclav Havel); dictators suddenly become jailed pariahs (witness Erich Honecker, among others). And sometimes history conspires to undo a leader who had so completely embodied the spirit of the times that she seemed destined to govern forever.

In one of those harsh accelerations that have transformed Europe over the past 12 months, Margaret Thatcher stumbled -- and then was pushed from power by her own ruling Conservative Party leadership last week. What...

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