The Great, the New and the British Essays on Postwar Britain
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This Britain-issue of the Utrechtse Historische Cahiers contains five essays on postwar Britain by both British and Dutch scholars. Kenneth Morgan kicks off with an elucidating introduction in British political culture, which, in spite of the turbulent sixties and Thatcherism, remained consensual and peaceful. Fellow-historian Rodney Lowe takes a different angle in his essay on the British welfare state. He focuses on two contradictions: the rapid descent of postwar Britain from being a leader to a laggard in welfare provision; second the tension between the individualistic culture of Britain and the centralized nature of its welfare institutions. Sociologist Bernice Martin covers the socio-cultural developments in the broadest sense. One of her most provoking opinions addresses the continuity between the sixties underground scene and the British culture industry of the nineties. Anneke Ribberink offers an analysis of the Thatcher revolution from a gender perspective, and Hans Righart closes with some comparative notes concerning the postwar histories of Great Britain and the Netherlands.