No Turning Back: The Peaceful Revolutions of Post-War Britain

Hardcover | July 9, 2010

byPaul Addison

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In No Turning Back, Paul Addison takes the long view, charting the vastly changing character of British society since the end of the Second World War. As he shows, in this period a series of peaceful revolutions has completely transformed the country so that, with the advantage of a longerperspective, the comparative peace and growing prosperity of the second half of the twentieth century appear as more powerful solvents of settled ways of life than the Battle of the Somme or the Blitz. We have come to take for granted a welfare state which would have seemed extraordinary to our forebears in the first decades of the century, based upon the achievement of a hitherto undreamed of mass prosperity. Much of the sexual morality preached if not practised for centuries has been dismantledwith the creation of a 'permissive society'. The employment and career chances of women have been revolutionized. A white nation has been transformed into a multiracial one. An economy founded on manufacturing under the watchful eye of the 'gentlemen in Whitehall' has morphed into a free marketsystem, heavily dependent on finance, services, and housing, while a predominantly working class society has evolved into a predominantly middle class one. And the United Kingdom, which once looked as solid as the rock of Gibraltar, now looks increasingly fragile, as Wales and especially Scotlandhave started to go their separate ways.The book ends with an assessment of the gains and losses that have resulted. As this makes clear, this is not a story of progress pure and simple, it is a story of fundamental transformation in which much has been gained and much also lost, perhaps above all a sense of the ties that used to bindpeople together. Paul Addison brings to it the personal point of view of someone who has lived through it all and seen the Britain of his youth turn into a very different country, but who in the final reckoning still prefers the present to the past.

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In No Turning Back, Paul Addison takes the long view, charting the vastly changing character of British society since the end of the Second World War. As he shows, in this period a series of peaceful revolutions has completely transformed the country so that, with the advantage of a longerperspective, the comparative peace and growing ...

Paul Addison taught history at the University of Edinburgh from 1967 to 1996 and was Director of the Centre for Second World War Studies (now the Centre for the Study of the Two World Wars) at Edinburgh from 1996 to 2005. Among his other publications are The Road to 1945: British Politics and the Second World War (1975), Now The War ...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:352 pages, 7.72 × 5.08 × 0.01 inPublished:July 9, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0192192671

ISBN - 13:9780192192677

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Table of Contents

IntroductionPart I: The Aftermath 1945-19571. The Gentleman in Whitehall2. Fair Shares for All3. Victorian Values4. When British Was BestPart II: The Quest for Modernity 1957-19745. Managing the New Britain6. Great Expectations7. The Liberal Hour8. National IdentitiesPart III: Transformations 1974-19909. Mrs Thatcher's Revolution10. The Sea Change11. The Permissive Age12. Multicultural BritainEpilogue