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The People's Peace

Britain Since 1945

Updated Edition

Kenneth O. Morgan

Publication Date - 29 September 2021

ISBN: 9780198841074

832 pages
7.7 x 5.1 inches

In Stock

Britain since 1945: The People's Peace is the first comprehensive study by a professional historian of British history from 1945 to the present day.


Britain since 1945: The People's Peace is the first comprehensive study by a professional historian of British history from 1945 to the present day. It examines the transformation of post-war Britain from the planning enthusiasm of 1945 to the rise of New Labour. Its themes include the troubles of the British economy; public criticism of the legitimacy of the state and its instruments of authority; the co-existence of growing personal prosperity with widespread social inequality; and the debates aroused by decolonization, and Britain's relationship to the Commonwealth, the US and Europe. Changes in cultural life, from the puritanical 'austerity' of the 1940's, through the 'permissiveness' of the 1960s, to the tensions and achievements of recent years are also charted.

Using a wide variety of sources, including the records of political parties and the most recently released documents from the Public Records Office, Kenneth Morgan brings the story right up to date and draws comparisons with the post-war history of other nations. This penetrating analysis by a leading twentieth-century historian will prove invaluable to anyone interested in the development of the Britain of today.

New to this Edition

  • This new edition includes a new chapter on the 21st century, covering the period 2008-19.


  • The best single-volume history of post-war Britain
  • Updated and expanded, bringing coverage up to the present day
  • Emphasis on developments in all parts of England, urban and rural, and in Scotland, Wales, and both parts of Ireland
  • Kenneth Morgan is editor of the best-selling Oxford History of Britain

About the Author(s)

Kenneth O. Morgan, Visiting Professor, King's College London

Kenneth O. Morgan is a working peer in the House of Lords and a Visiting Professor in the Institute of Contemporary British History, King's College London. From 1966 to 1989 he was Fellow and Praelector of Queen's; from 1989 to 1995 he was Vice-Chancellor of Aberystwyth University, and also Senior Vice-Chancellor of the University of Wales, 1993-5. He has also been an Honorary Fellow of Oriel College, Oxford. He is the author of many major works on British history including Wales in British Politics, 1868-1922; Rebirth of a Nation: Wales 1880-1980; Labour in Power, 1945-1951; Consensus and Disunity: the Lloyd George Coalition Government, 1918-1922; The People's Peace: British History, 1945-1990; Modern Wales: Politics, Places and People; Callaghan: A Life; The Twentieth Century (A Very Short Intoduction). He was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 1983 and became a life peer in 2000.

Table of Contents

    I. The Era of Advance, 1945-1961
    1. The Facade of Unity
    2. Labour's High Noon, 1945-1947
    3. The Collectivist Retreat, 1948-1951
    4. The Conservative Compromise, 1951-1956
    5. The Zenith of One-Nation Toryism, 1957-1961
    II. The Years of Retreat, 1961-1979
    6. The Stagnant Society, 1961-1964
    7. Labour Blown Off Course, 1964-1967
    8. Years of Hard Slog, 1968-1970
    9. The Heath Experiment, 1970-1974
    10. Challenge to Consensus, 1974-1976
    11. The Years of Discontent, 1977-1979
    III. Thatcherism and its Aftermath, 1979-1998
    12. The Foundations of Thatcherism, 1979-1983
    13. High Noon for the New Right, 1983-1990
    14. Fin de Siècle: New Labour in Power, 1990-2001
    15. Millennial Perspectives, 2001 - 2008
    16. From Crash to Brexit, 2008 - 20
    Select Bibliography

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