RIP Margaret Thatcher

So word’s just out that former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher has died of a stroke at the age of 87.

Americans often think of her as Britain’s Ronald Reagan, and there’s some truth to that: she led the ideological takeover of a major political party and a country, and was a symbolic leader of the conservative cause long after she faded from the real political scene. She was also, of course, the first woman to serve as prime minister of the UK (after becoming the first woman to lead one of the UK’s major parties), though hardly an object of affection for most feminists.

Famously dubbed “La Pasionaria of middle-class privilege” by Labour politician Denis Healey, Thatcher died a peer. We’ll have more about her life later today. Feel free to share memories or impressions you have of the Iron Lady in the comment thread.

Here she is making her pitch to the British public just before the 1979 election that elevated her to power.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.