The Rise and Fall of the British Nation epub ´ Hardcover read â david edgerton

kindle The Rise and Fall of the British Nation

The Rise and Fall of the British Nation epub ´ Hardcover read â david edgerton ↠ From the acclaimed author of Britain's War Machine and The Shock of the Old a bold reassessment of Britain's twentieth centuryIt is usual to see the United Kingdom as an island of continuity in an otherwiseFrom the acclaimed author of Britain's War Machine and The Shock of the Old a bold reassessment of Britain's twentieth centuryIt is usual to see the United Kingdom as an island of continuity in an otherwise convulsed and unstable Europe; its political history a smooth seuence of administrations from building a welfare state to coping with decline Nobody would dream of writing the history of Germany say or the Soviet Union in this wayDavid Edgerton's major new history breaks out of the conf This is a book which is by turns fascinating and deeply infuriating It is a self consciously revisionist history of Britain in the twentieth century and as such it works much better if you are already familiar with the theories he sets out to disprove In my case this means that the second half of the book which deals with the period from 1950 to 2000 works much better than the material on the earlier period although I did find much here fascinating especially the discussions around the liberal internationalism on the one hand and empire and protection on the otherIn the second half of the book Edgerton's arguments verge on the deliberately provocative His claims that the importance of the welfare state has been exaggerated sound plausible but his argument that Britain's commitment to war was at least as important as its commitment to welfare seem at best to only be true for part of the time However it is his emphasis on the role of a 'developmental state' in successfully developing Britain as a manufacturing power between about 1950 and 1975 that has drawn most attention Here Edgerton takes aim at 'declinist' accounts which emphasise Britain's relative economic decline This is challenging but ultimately not altogether convincing I do feel the book would have benefitted from comparative material as it seems to me that Britain is lauded for undertaking changes that were common in all advanced industrial nations And it remains possible that Britain achieved these less successfully than other countries Britain went from being the world's largest exporter of cars in the 1950's to having a car industry that collapsed as soon as it was exposed to international competition in the 1970's If that constitutes success I'd hate to see failureThe closing sections of the book are the most vivid although it is here that the author shows his ideological spots most clearly He is infatuated with militant tendency era labour and seems to believe that because the Labour Party in 1983 was at its most ideologically coherent we should overlook the fact that it had a lower share of the vote than in any other election since the war After all he says labour is fundamentally a party of critiue and protest so what does making a practical difference to people's lives mean?All theories are wrong some are useful There is a danger with revisionist history that you replace one set of incomplete theories with another less useful set In this case I'd say that the author has definitely changed my mind about what the relative priorities of British government were for much of the post war period but I am less convinced by the argument that we executed well on all of those priorities

pdf â The Rise and Fall of the British Nation Á David Edgerton

And only briefly a real successful nation with shared goals horizons and industry before reinventing itself again in the 1970s as part of the European Union and as the host for international capital no longer capable of being a nationPacked with surprising examples and arguments The Rise and Fall of the British Nation gives us a grown up unsentimental history which takes business and warfare seriously and which is crucial at a moment of serious reconsideration for the country and its futu An exciting new framing of 20th C British history but Edgerton does not do enough work to evidence some of his attacks on the historiographical consensus particularly re the failures of left nationalist economics in the 1970s Also he is very mean to Blair

David Edgerton Á The Rise and Fall of the British Nation mobi

The Rise and Fall of the British Nation Ines of traditional British national history to redefine what it was to British and to reveal an unfamiliar place subject to huge disruptions This was not simply because of the world wars and global economic transformations but in its very nature Until the 1940s the United Kingdom was Edgerton argues an exceptional place liberal capitalist and anti nationalist at the heart of a European and global web of trade and influence Then as its global position collapsed it became for the first time A breathtaking highly materialist macro economic history of Britain's 20th century This book would sit well on a shelf next to EP Thompson's The Making of the English Working Class or Eric Hobsbawm's Age of ExtremesWhether or not the author would appreciate being placed in such close proximity with these prominent Marxist historians is unclear The text has all the soot and smoke materialism of a classic marxist tract as well as a highly developed and economistic view of class as a driver of political change However although the text has a rich and assertive argument its hardly a political polemic in the traditional leftist sense Late capitalist discourse goes to great pains to separate the economic and political the wealth makers and wealth redistributers to make the consumer the political subject to the exclusion of the producer What makes this text so thrilling for me is that it dusts off and brings back to light the dialectical relationship between the political and productive natures of the state economyThe book demolishes the Thatcherite and Blairite myth of 20th century Britain with the exception of WWII being one great failed experiment ending in a calamitous 1970s It also takes great pains to interrogate the cliche of attributing Britain's post war settlement to the Labour Party it contains some fantastic insights into what the Labour Party did and did not achieve Similarly it makes a very thorough investigation into the Conservative Party and its relationship with free trade in the early and latter parts of the century For a comprehensively materialist analysis of the British nation state and economy since 1900 I've never read anything better