Philip Begley
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This chapter provides an overview of the book, the subjects it will cover and the questions that will be addressed. It also establishes the central conceptual and methodological frameworks and sets out the structure of the chapters that follow. The chapter begins by discussing the Conservative victory at the 1979 general election and different interpretations of its meaning. There is a discussion of what is actually understood to be ‘policy’ and how it is formed. The wide range of sources around which the research was built is also introduced. A historiographical review of the existing literature reveals the extensive and growing body of work which touches upon areas relevant to this study.

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The making of Thatcherism

The Conservative Party in opposition, 1974–79


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