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National Crisis and National Government

National Crisis and National Government
British Politics, the Economy and Empire, 1926–1932

$57.99 (C)

  • Date Published: December 2003
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521521413

$ 57.99 (C)
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About the Authors
  • This book is the first to examine all aspects of the crisis together and in depth using an extensive range of official, institutional and personal papers. It demonstrates that a proper understanding of economic and imperial policies requires a sophisticated grasp of political processes. It shows how explanation of British political change must proceed by placing the power elites in their specific contexts, by exposing their beliefs, fears, objectives and strategies, and by displaying their interactions. The Treasury, the Bank of England, big business, the TUC and Keynes, as well as MacDonald, Baldwin, Lloyd George, Churchill, Mosley and Chamberlain are seen tackling some of the most fundamental problems of the modern British state.

    • Reveals the role of the Treasury, the Bank, and some of the period's leading politicians, in the political crisis of 1931 and the fall of the Labour government
    • Examines the policy and politics behind one of the most significant crises of the modern age
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "...important exploration of British politics...an almost day-by-day analysis of high politics. Unlike some of the others, however, this revealing account never loses sight of the broader issues that underlay the maneuverings of the politicians...It is an important corrective to some of the still continuing myths about the interwar years." American Historical Review

    "The strength of Philip Williamson's new volume lies...in the very comprehensive and detailed treatment it provides of the political and economic crisis. This reflects the immense range of private papers he has consulted in preparing the book; and it is a tribute to his skills that the result is a remarkably readable account of a highly complex series of events." Times Literary Supplement

    "Williamson's dense, complex book may well be one of the most important contributions to British political history in more than a decade....All these developments are examined with care and uncommon clarity in a book that has been researched with unusual depth." Choice

    "Williamson's book is absolutely indispensable for anyone who wants to know what was going on in British politics in 1929-31...." Trevor Lloyd, Canadian Journal of History

    "Williamson's revisionist account adds immeasurably to our understanding of the crucial transitional years of the second Labour government. In stressing the importance of the Liberal revival to the instability of 1930 and the reconfiguration of 1931, Williamson provides a realistic portrait of the complexities of party control and governance during a hung parliament and convincingly postdates by eight years a process of two-party polarization Maurice Cowling saw to be complete by 1924....Williamson's studies will probably become the classic accounts of the course of high politics...." Susan Pedersen, Journal of British Studies

    "Philip Williamson has taken many years to produce this book, and it is a triumph for those who argue that good history can only be written after a long gestation period. However, it is to be hoped that his next book will not take so long, because he is clearly a historian who can see through myths and half-truths and produce really first-class work. For that he is to be congratulated." Andrew Thorpe, Journal of Modern History

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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2003
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521521413
    • length: 588 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 153 x 34 mm
    • weight: 0.9kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of illustrations
    Acknowledgements
    Conventions and abbreviations
    Introduction
    Part I. Components of Crisis:
    1. The erosion of Conservative predominance
    2. Economic and imperial troubles
    3. Government and party troubles
    4. 'National crisis'
    Part II. Crisis Avoided:
    5. The impact of India
    6. Retrenchment and containment
    7. Towards a two-party system
    Part III. The Crisis:
    8. The financial crisis: July 1931
    9. The political crisis: August 1931
    10. First effects
    11. The emergency government's crisis: September 1931
    Part IV. Crisis Overcome:
    12. The political reconstruction
    13. The defeated
    14. The national government
    Conclusion
    Appendix
    Sources
    Index.

  • Author

    Philip Williamson, University of Durham

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