The Strange Death of Socialist Britain: Post-war British Politics by Patrick Cosgrave
Within a narrative framework, this is a history of British politics since World War II. The book is divided into three major periods: 1945 to 1951, in which year the Conservatives returned to power; 1951 to 1979, a period when the Tory and Labour parties sought to administer the revolution which Attlee had bequeathed to them; and 1979 to 1992, during which time Margaret Thatcher set out to reverse the policies introduced after the war by Attlee. It is therefore a story of revolution, followed by consolidation and then counter-revolution. The revolutionary idea was to make industry function more efficiently and profitably by central government rather than by private capital. This in turn would ease the burden of financing the Welfare State. But the very opposite has happened, and the taxpayer struggles to support the social services. The author believes the burgeoning of the Welfare State, and the effect on the psychology of the nation of the loss of an empire, to be the dominant factors in the post-war period.