Bad Girls Throughout History: 100 Remarkable Women Who Changed the World - Ann Shen (2016)
Margaret Thatcher (1925-2013) went from being the first person in her family to attend college to being elected the first female prime minister of the United Kingdom in 1979. She took an unconventional route there, and she was more proud of being the first prime minister with a science degree than of being the first woman. Thatcher was a leader of the Conservative Party and ran the government with uncompromising leadership and vision. Winning over the country despite an ongoing recession, Thatcher, with her iron fist, was especially strong in a crisis, such as during the 1982 Falklands War when Argentina invaded British territory. She struck back with such force that the war ended in seventy-two days. Her friendship with Ronald Reagan strongly influenced the Reagan-Gorbachev deal that destroyed new Soviet and NATO missiles and ended the Cold War—and the Soviet Union shortly thereafter. When Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait and U.S. President George H.W. Bush was waffling on a next move, Thatcher called him on the phone and said, “This is no time to go wobbly!” Thatcher holds the record for the longest term as British prime minister in the twentieth century, being elected three times before resigning over her polarizing politics in 1990. Still a controversial figure today for her conservative policies and actions, Thatcher has earned her place in history among people who forged their own path by being an unstoppable force that redirected the course of the modern U.K.—and the world.