Seeking a Role
The United Kingdom 1951-1970
By (author) Brian Harrison
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Seeking a Role by Brian Harrison
Book DescriptionIn this, the first of two self-standing volumes bringing The New Oxford History of England up to the present, Brian Harrison begins in 1951 with much of the empire intact and with Britain enjoying high prestige in Europe. The United Kingdom could still then claim to be a great power, whose welfare state exemplified compromise between Soviet planning and the USA's free market. When the volume ends in 1970, no such claims carried conviction. The empire had gone, central planning was in trouble, and even the British political system had become controversial. In an unusually wide-ranging, yet impressively detailed volume, Harrison approaches the period from unfamiliar directions. He explains how British politicians in the 1950s and 1960s responded to this transition by pursuing successive roles for Britain: worldwide as champion of freedom, and in Europe as exemplar of parliamentary government, the multi-racial society, and economic planning. His main focus, though, rests not on the politicians but on the decisions the British people made largely for themselves: on their environment, social structure and attitudes, race relations, family patterns, economic framework, and cultural opportunities. By 1970 the consumer society had supplanted postwar austerity, the socialist vision was fading, and 'the sixties' (the theme of his penultimate chapter) had introduced new and even exotic themes and values. Having lost an empire, Britain was still resourcefully seeking a role: it had yet to find it.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780198204763
(241mm x 165mm x 40mm)
Imprint: Oxford University Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publish Date: 26-Mar-2009
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Brian Harrison
Finding a Role?, Paperback (September 2011)
An impressively detailed but also unusually wide-ranging analysis of post-war Britain from 1970 to the end of Mrs Thatcher's term as prime minister in 1990, covering everything from international relations to family life, the countryside to manufacturing, religion to race, cultural life to political structures.
Seeking a Role, Paperback (January 2011)
An impressively detailed but also unusually wide-ranging analysis of post-war Britain in the 1950s and 60s, covering everything from international relations to family life, the countryside to manufacturing, religion to race, cultural life to political structures.
Civil Histories, Hardback (May 2000)» View all books by Brian Harrison
These essays, presented to Sir Keith Thomas on his retirement as President of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, concentrate on one of the broad themes illuminated by his work - changing notions of civility in the past. They explore its implications and shifts in its meaning since the 16th century.
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Author Biography - Brian Harrison
Brian Harrison is Emeritus Professor of Modern British History at the University of Oxford. He has published on many aspects of British history from the 1790s to the present. His books include Drink and the Victorians (1971, second edition 1994) and The Transformation of British politics 1860-1995 (1996). From 2000-2004 he edited the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
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