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The legacy of the Iron Lady

by AirTalk®

Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in 1981. She died Monday, at the age of 87. /PA Photos /Landov

Margaret Thatcher, one of the most influential leaders of the 20th century, has died at age 87. As British prime minister in the 1980s, Thatcher's decisive policies altered much of the United Kingdom and rippled around the world. Her conservative agenda reformed England's economy - privatizing major industries and strong-arming unions.

Today, British PM David Cameron credited Thatcher as the greatest British prime minister during peacetime. "[She] didn't just lead our country. She saved our country," Cameron said. President Barack Obama today highlighted her steadfast relationship with the United States in "standing shoulder to shoulder" with President Ronald Reagan during the Cold War. Her partnership with Reagan and Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev helped bring down the Iron Curtain.

Why were Thatcher and Reagan able to forge such a friendship? How did they create and sculpt neoconservative ideology? How did she affect U.S. contemporary politics and policy?

Dame Barbara Hay, British Consul-General in Los Angeles; Hay served as a UK foreign service officer in Moscow during the Cold War

Andrew Benton, President of Pepperdine University; teaches constitutional law; Pepperdine presented Thatcher with an honorary doctorate in 2008

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