In 2006 and 2007, I gave speeches in Colorado Springs and in Washington, DC (for The Heritage Foundation) and Dallas (for the Texas Public Policy Foundation) on the achievements of Lady Thatcher. The reaction to those speeches was so overwhelmingly positive that I wrote the book Margaret Thatcher: A Portrait of the Iron Lady (Algora, 2008) to explain “Thatcherism” to America. This in turn led to many more speaking engagements on Lady Thatcher.
Inevitably discussion at these events turned to American equivalents to Lady T. Names would be bandied around such as Martha Washington, Abigail Adams and Ayn Rand and everyone in the audience would nod their heads in agreement. But it was quite striking that once I moved beyond those three, audience recognition just plummeted. Many conservative- and libertarian-inclined women and men au fait with US current affairs simply did not seem to be aware of many of their foremothers who fought for liberty. That directly led me to write this book.
How did I select my ladies for liberty?
First, they had to be dead — no open ended stories; their contribution had to be complete. Second, they had to have had an inner core of principles that could clearly be seen to be pro-liberty, pro individual