'A useful and provocative account of the governance of the United Kingdom since 1945 - how little of it was intentional, and how much of it was accidental, and how we live to this day with the consequence.' Martin Bell OBE
The power and influence that politicians exercise over our lives makes an understanding of the political system essential for all of us. British politics dominates our TV and radio news programming and is generally the main thrust of our daily papers. The purpose of this book is to acquaint the reader with the British system of governance and the principal political, social and economic policies implemented by respective governments since World War Two.
Governing Britain Since 1945 covers in detail Prime Ministers, their governments and policies, and the histories and philosophies of the major political parties. It also provides an exposition of: the system of national governance, and of local and regional government; economic, macroeconomic and social issues; social security, pensions and the National Health Service; education policies, the housing market and housing policies; transport, industrial policies and industrial relations; environmental and overseas development policies; and foreign and defence policies and Britain's attitude towards European unification.
Governing Britain Since 1945 offers a highly digestible, apolitical account which is authoritative and easily accessible. It will appeal to members of the public who want more background and wish to have an understanding of these important matters; and also to university (or aspiring university) students, who will value a reference book which is highly readable, succinct and invaluable.
'Anyone interested in contemporary Britain will enjoy this lively and irreverent introduction to our recent history. It tells its story of political change by placing it deftly in its economic and international setting. Government is revealed as a fascinating process that extends far beyond Westminster.' Professor William Brown, Master of Darwin College, University of Cambridge
'In this beautifully crafted, enquiring and highly readable account, Nigel Knight brilliantly shows how in the course of a single lifetime, Britain changed from a confident imperial power into an uncertain, reluctant and domestically fragmented member of the European Union. In particular he illuminates how the most lasting changes occurred contrary to government policy, no matter which party ruled, resulting in a land that is over-governed and increasingly torn by conflicting loyalties to the USA and Europe.' Robert Cumming, Director of British Programmes, Boston University
'Governing Britain Since 1945 offers a uniquely succinct and accessible account of post-war British political history. It reads like a novel, moves at a cracking pace, yet it factually lays out the whole story so that the various vicissitudes can be put into context. It is the easily digestible nature of this book which sets it apart.' Dr. Kanak Patel, Fellow of Magdalene College, University of Cambridge
'Succinctly and elegantly written, this is certainly no dull textbook... A very useful introduction to our recent history. Highly readable and at times provocative.' Public Servant Magazine
'A comprehensive and readable account of British politics since the Second World War' Chartist
Nigel Knight is a lecturer in British Government at the University of Cambridge and in economics and politics at Magdalene College, Cambridge. He formerly lectured at the University of Oxford. He has been a lecturer for over twenty years and has worked in national politics, both advising and writing policy.