"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Thatcher, the Collapse of Communism, and the Liberation of Eastern Christians

Though born with a WASPish horror of strong emotion, especially in public (it was, I think, the inimitable Florence King who once said the only emotion WASPs are permitted to show is "mild irritation"), and fancying myself something of a man of the left at the time, I nonetheless wept in my high-school library in November 1990 when I read the papers and saw that Margaret Thatcher had been turfed from office by a bunch of third-rate tossers and cowards. I did so largely because, regardless of what her positions were, I admired how relentless she was in pushing her arguments in a very formidable way because she had the courage of her convictions--which no Canadian politician at the time could ever muster if he tried for a thousand years. (The late and splendidly splenetic diarist and sometime Thatcher cabinet minster Alan Clarke, in his Diaries 1972 - 1999 once wrote of an argument with her in which he was trying to persuade her to ban the import of Canadian fur. He lost the argument because her strategy completely unmanned him:  "a prototypical example of an argument with a woman--no rational sequence, associative, lateral thinking, jumping rails the whole time.")

Charles Moore's authorized biography has recently been published, Margaret Thatcher: From Grantham to the Falklands and I am greatly looking forward to reading it, especially after this review in the London Review of Books. There are also, of course, a slew of other books that have come out and are coming out so soon after her death in April.

Thatcher, together with Ronald Reagan, Pope John Paul II, and Mikhail Gorbachev, played a role in the downfall of the evil empire and thus the freeing of millions of Eastern Christians who had lived under that tyranny.

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