3rd Edition

20th Century Britain Economic, Cultural and Social Change

Edited By Nicole Robertson, John Singleton, Avram Taylor Copyright 2023
    402 Pages 70 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    402 Pages 70 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    20th Century Britain provides an authoritative and accessible survey of contemporary research on economic activity, society, political development and culture. Written by leading academics, it examines recent advances in scholarship and gives a grounding in established approaches and topics.  

    The first part comprises thematic essays covering the whole of the twentieth century, including chapters on the economy, economic management, big business, parliamentary politics, leisure, work, health, international economic relations and empire. It uncovers key areas of equality and diversity in chapters on women, living standards, social mobility, ethnicity and multiculturalism, and gender and sexuality. The most recent subfields of historical studies are also explored, including disability history and environmental economic history. The second part focuses on seismic events and topics covering shorter timeframes, including the World Wars, interwar Depression, Britain and European integration, sexual behaviours, civil society, the 1960s cultural revolution and resisting racism.

    This collection provides an essential guide to current academic thinking on the most important elements of twentieth-century British history and is a useful tool for all students and scholars interested in modern Britain.

    1. Introduction: Twentieth-Century Britain

    Nicole Robertson, John Singleton and Avram Taylor

    Part I: Britain since 1900

    2. The British Political System

    Richard Toye

    3. The British Economy

    John Singleton

    4. Inequality, Living Standards, and Welfare Provision

    Peter Scott and James T. Walker

    5. Britain's Changing Position in the International Economy

    Catherine R. Schenk

    6. Managing the Economy, Managing the People

    Jim Tomlinson

    7. Work, the Labour Market and Trade Unions

    Chris Wrigley

    8. Leisure, Consumption and Consumerism

    Peter Scott

    9. The Environment and Environmental Policy

    Martin Chick

    10. Big Business and Management in Britain

    John F. Wilson

    11. Empire and Decolonisation

    Paul Ward

    12. Ethnicity, Identity and Multiculturalism

    Sarah Hackett

    13. Women and Inequalities

    Pat Thane

    14. Disability and Disabled People

    Vicky Long

    15. Social Mobility

    Andrew Miles

    16. Gender and Sexuality

    Stephen Brooke

    17. Healthcare, Health and Wellbeing

    Victoria Bates


    Part II: Britain in Focus

    18. Britain at War 1914-1918 and 1939-45

    Linsey Robb

    19. The Impact of the Interwar Depression on the Working Class

    Stephanie Ward

    20. Civil Society, Voluntary Action and Citizenship, c. 1918 -1960s

    Helen McCarthy

    21. Heterosexual Sexuality in Britain, 1918-1972

    Hannah Charnock and Kate Fisher

    22. Britain and Europe since 1945

    Neil Rollings

    23. The 1960s and the Cultural Revolution

    Marcus Collins

    24 Resisting Racism in 1970s and 1980s Britain: the Experience of

    Young South Asians

    Anandi Ramamurthy


    Nicole Robertson is Associate Professor in Modern British History at Sheffield Hallam University. She has published widely on women and the clerical sector, the co-operative movement, consumerism, and the Labour Party. Her current research project explores gender, activism and identity among white-collar workers.

    John Singleton is Emeritus Professor of Economic and Business History at Sheffield Hallam University. He has published widely on British business history, economic policy in New Zealand, the development of central banking and the history of disasters and industrial safety.

    Avram Taylor is Senior Lecturer in History at Northumbria University. His research reflects his interest in the relationship between class, gender and ethnicity. His thesis was published as Working Class Credit and Community since 1918 (2002.) He has subsequently published a number of articles on Jews in Britain.

     ‘An excellent volume covering a huge amount of material. The editors introduce the wide range of topics and variety of perspectives considered and, in every case, encouraged me to want to read further into the book on all the aspects highlighted.’

    Sara Horrell, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK