Margaret Thatcher was not the kind of person who becomes a Conservative prime minister. She was a grocer’s daughter from the insignificant town of Grantham, yet she rose to dominate the political life of a generation. In office from 1979 to 1991, she reversed the long decline of Britain that for three decades had seemed inevitable. Others feel quite differently. Beloved by President Reagan, hated by the British left, she intimidated most members even of her own party, and was more widely admired than liked. Britain today continues to bear the stamp of her work for good and ill.