CRF Blog

Reagan and Thatcher

by Bill Hayes

Richard Aldous’ new book Reagan and Thatcher: The Difficult Relationship explores the relationship between the president and prime minister.

From the New York Times Book Review:

In reality, behind the mutual applause and historical echoes, there were many tensions and even conflicts. Thatcher’s first years at Downing Street were fraught, and her prospects of re-election looked precarious in the spring of 1982, when disaster, in the form of the Argentine seizure of the Falklands, turned into her greatest triumph — with no help from Washington, at least to begin with, and in particular none from Jeane Kirkpatrick.

One of the first generation of neoconservatives, Kirkpatrick had been appointed American ambassador to the United Nations by Reagan. She held the dubious view that Latin America was “the most important place in the world for us,” and believed that the administration should do business with Gen. Leopoldo Galtieri and his colleagues in Buenos Aires, who were “authoritarian” rather than “totalitarian” (meaning that the Buenos Aires junta tortured and “disappeared” opponents in merely authoritarian fashion). [more]