In death as in life, Margaret Thatcher is dividing a nation. While hailed by Prime Minister David Cameron as the country's savior, many Britons recall Thatcher as a force of destruction.

In trying to posthumously turn Thatcher into a national figure by giving her a pomp-filled funeral, Cameron's Conservative-led government has hardened political divisions over her legacy.

Now that her funeral is over, a dispassionate assessment of Britain's longest-serving prime minister of the 20th century can perhaps begin.