Understanding Decline: Perceptions and Realities of British Economic Performance

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2007-06-21
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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The theme of British economic decline is inescapable in contemporary debates about Britain's economic performance and sense of national identity. Understanding Decline is a serious contribution to an important argument, approached in a way that is accessible not only to the specialist academic market but to students of economics, history and politics. Barry Supple, to whom the volume is dedicated, when Professor of Economic History at Cambridge was concerned with various aspects of this historical problem. Indeed, his 1993 Presidential Address to the Economic History Society, 'Fear of failing', already a classic, is reprinted here as a highly effective keynote essay. Other essays pick up this theme in diverse but essentially unified ways, seeking to assess British economic performance in different ways over the past two centuries. They include case-studies through which the reality of decline can be explored, while differing perceptions of decline are examined in a number of essays dealing with ideas and policy issues.

Table of Contents

Frontispiece Barry Supple
Notes on contributors
Note on references
Introduction: national performance in a personal perspective
Fear of failing: economic history and the decline of Britain
'A great deal of ruin in a nation'
The security of the realm and the growth of the economy, 1688-1914
British economic decline and human resources
The myth of decline: an urban perspective
Phoenix: financial services, insurance and economic revival between the wars
Keynes, New Jerusalem, and British decline
Social policy, saving, and sound money: budgeting for the New Jerusalem in the Second World War
1945-1951: years of recovery or a stage in economic decline?
The end of empire and the golden age
Macmillan's audit of empire, 1957
Apocalypse when? British politicians and British 'decline' in the twentieth century
Measuring economic decline
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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