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This history of Britain since 1945 confronts two themes that have dominated British consciousness during the post-war era: the myth of decline and the pervasiveness of American influence. The political narrative is about the struggle to maintain a power that was illusory and, from 1960 on, to reverse an economic decline that was nearly as illusory. The British economy had its problems, which are fully analyzed; however, they were counterbalanced by an unparalleled prosperity. At the same time, there was a social and cultural revolution which resulted in a more exciting, dynamic society. While there was much American influence, there was no Americanization. American influences were incorporated with many others into a new and less stodgy British culture. Contrary to conventional wisdom, this groundbreaking book finds that the story of Britain since the war is marked not by decline but by progress on almost all fronts.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781844131020
ISBN-10: 1844131025
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 129mm x 33mm)
Pages: 816
Imprint: Pimlico
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 5-Feb-2004
Country of Publication: United Kingdom


UK Kirkus Review » Who says Britain is dead? Certainly not American historian and anglophile George L. Bernstein. The New Orleans university professor believes we Britons are too pessimistic by half, and what many of us regard as symptoms of decline he sees as strengths. Youth culture is not necessarily synonymous with yobbism, he says. Immigration has given the nation a dose of multiculturalism that it needed, and the changing economy continues to provide us all with better standards of living. Although Bernstein's focus is on post-war Britain, he reveals that the country has been glum about its own successes since at least the 1880s. The newspapers of that time were full of gloomy talk about decline just as today's are. Bernstein writes in a warm, erudite way and illustrates his points with plenty of facts and figures. After reading his book you can't help but agree that Britain still keeps the home fires very much burning. (Kirkus UK)

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Author Biography - George L. Bernstein

George L. Bernstein was born and raised in the Washington, DC, area. He received his BA in Economics from Columbia University in 1968 and his PhD in History from the University of Chicago in 1978. He has taught at Tulane University in New Orleans since 1980, where he is currently Associate Professor of History, specializing in modern Britain. He is the author of Liberalism and Liberal Politics in Edwardian England (1986). He has lived in Britain twice for a year, as well as spending many summers there. Since July 2003 he has been Dean of Tulane College, the men's liberal arts college of Tulane University.