The art of the possible: Politics and governance in modern British history, 1885-1997: Essays in memory of Duncan Tanner (1958-2010)

The art of the possible: Politics and governance in modern British history, 1885-1997: Essays in memory of Duncan Tanner (1958-2010)


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This volume explores some of the major transitions, opportunities and false dawns of modern British political history. It engages with the scholarly legacy of Professor Duncan Tanner (19582010), whose work was focused on the political process and on politics in government.

Chronologically, the book's span runs from the first general election to be conducted under the terms of the Third Reform Act through to the 1997 referenda in favour of devolved assemblies in Scotland and Wales. This was the period in which British politicians most obviously addressed a mass electorate, seeking national approval for policies and programmes to be enacted on a UK-wide basis. The book contains essays from leading British historians including Peter Clarke, Pat Thane, David Howell, Steven Fielding, Andrew Thorpe, Jon Lawrence, Matthew Cragoe and John Davis, as well as from younger scholars such as Mari Elin Wiliam. Topics covered include the intellectual context for economic thought and for the synergy between the state and civil society, the rise of Labour in Edwardian Britain, the imagining of politics through fiction in inter-war Britain, British politics during the Second World War, devolution in Scotland and Wales, ideas of class in post-war Britain and the rise and varying fortunes of the left in London.

While it will appeal primarily to scholars and students of modern British history, this volume will also interest the general reader who wishes to get to grips with some of the latest thinking about British politics.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780719090714
Publisher: Manchester University Press
Publication date: 07/01/2015
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Chris Williams is Professor of History and Head of the School of History, Archaeology and Religion at Cardiff University

Andrew Edwards is Senior Lecturer in History and Dean of Arts and Humanities at Bangor University

Table of Contents

Introduction: Duncan Tanner and the art of the possible Chris Williams

1. The making and remaking of 'common sense' about British economic policy Peter Clarke

2. The 'big state' versus the 'Big Society' in twentieth-century Britain Pat Thane

3. 'One meaning blots out another'? Liberals and Labour in the east midlands coalfield David Howell

4. Cartooning the rise of Labour, 190021 Chris Williams

5. Novels for 'thinking people': fiction and the inter-war broad left Steven Fielding

6. Myth and counter-myth in Second World War British politics Andrew Thorpe

7. Labour, nationalism and the problem of Welsh devolution, c.193964 Andrew Edwards

8. Defending the constitution: the Conservative party and the idea of devolution, 194574 Matthew Cragoe

9. Public and private languages of 'class' in the Luton by-election of 1963 Jon Lawrence

10. Community and the Labour left in 1970s London John Davis

11. Labour, the Union and the rebirth of Welsh devolution Mari Elin Wiliam

Duncan Tanner: a select bibliography Chris Williams


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