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American U Experts Available to Discuss Margaret Thatcher

American University faculty experts are available to discuss various topics related to the life and career of the late Margaret Thatcher, Great Britain’s first female prime minister who passed away on Monday, April 8, 2013.

Laura Beers, assistant professor of history, authored a chapter about Thatcher and the women’s vote for the 2012 book Making Thatcher’s Britain. She can discuss Thatcher’s influence on modern British politics. Beers’s research focuses on modern Britain, particularly the ways in which politics simultaneously influences and is shaped by cultural and social life, and in the role of the mass media in modern society. Her first book, Your Britain: Media and the Making of the Labour Party was published by Harvard University Press.

Lawrence Black, visiting associate professor of history, can discuss a wide variety of topics related to the life and career of Margaret Thatcher, including lesser-known facts such as Thatcher’s love of 1950s Hollywood films. Black specializes in modern British history and has written and edited six books, including his most recent one, Redefining British Politics. He is a professor of modern British history at Great Britain’s University of York and is an editor of the journal Twentieth Century British History.

Patricia Sykes, associate professor of government, has written about Thatcher as a "conviction politician" and could discuss why and how Thatcher changed the policy agenda, party system, public opinion, and state-society relation, among other issues. Sykes can also talk about Thatcher’s relationships with former presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. Sykes’s areas of expertise include women leaders and women in politics and national government and politics in the United States and the United Kingdom.

James Goldgeier, dean of AU’s School of International Service, can discuss Thatcher’s and Reagan's strong commitments to and strengthening of NATO and confronting the Soviet Union as well as how Thatcher's foreign policy shaped Reagan's foreign policy, and Thatcher's encouraging Gorbachev to pursue Perestroika. Goldgeier’s areas of expertise include contemporary international relations, American foreign policy, and transatlantic security.

Jennifer Lawless, director of AU’s Women & Politics Institute, can discuss the historic nature of Thatcher's role in politics in addition to the inspiration and role model she provided for women and how she broke important barriers. A nationally recognized expert on women's involvement in politics, she is the author of Becoming a Candidate: Political Ambition and the Decision to Run for Office and the co-author (with Richard L. Fox) of the book, It Still Takes a Candidate: Why Women Don't Run for Office. She has also published numerous articles in political science journals and has issued several policy reports on the barriers that impede women’s candidate emergence.

Allan Lichtman, a presidential historian, can discuss Thatcher’s relationships with former presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

Stephen Silvia, associate professor of international relations, can discuss Thatcher and the British trade unions. Silvia teaches international economics, international trade relations, and comparative politics. His research specializes in comparative labor markets and comparative industrial relations, with a focus on Germany and the European Union.

Richard Benedetto is an adjunct professor of journalism. A retired White House correspondent and columnist for USA Today and political columnist for Gannett News Service, Benedetto covered Margaret Thatcher on several occasions during the administrations of presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush. He reported on local, state and national government and politics for nearly 40 years and continues to write political commentary for publications such as Politico, USA Today and Fox News.

American University is a leader in global education, enrolling a diverse student body from throughout the United States and nearly 140 countries. Located in Washington, D.C., the university provides opportunities for academic excellence, public service, and internships in the nation’s capital and around the world.

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