Capitalism, Culture, and Decline in Britain 1750-1990

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  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Nonspecific Binding
  • Copyright: 12/9/2015
  • Publisher: Routledge

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Capitalism, Culture and Decline in Britainis an original and controversial analysis of the thesis, made familiar in recent years by Martin J. Wiener, Anthony Sampson, Correlli Barnett, and others, which states that Britain's alleged economic decline since 1870 was the result of deep-seated anti-industrial factors in Britain's culture. Rubinstein argues, from a novel perspective, that Britain was never an industrial, but always a commercial/financial economy whose comparative advantage lay within that area. Rubinstein illustrates that the much-criticized features of Britain's class system, such as the public schools, were actually efficient instruments to enhance this competitive advantage. He closely examines Britain's cultural values and elite structures to demonstrate that these were both rational and modern, arguing that Britain's standard of living has been virtually identical to all countries whose economies have been considered more "successful." Emphasizing the centralimportance of London-based finance and addressing socialism, Keynesianism, and Thatcherism,Capitalism, Culture, and Decline inBritainpresents an original and challenging contribution to this debate.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. viii
The British Economy since Industrialisation and the 'Cultural Critique'p. 1
British Culture and Economic Performancep. 45
Education, the 'Gentleman', and British Entrepreneurshipp. 102
Elites and the Evolution of the British Economyp. 140
Notesp. 163
Indexp. 179
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