First published in 1990. Of all British cities, it is perhaps Coventry which has come to symbolise best the country's experience of World War II and the post-war period. An important engineering centre, Coventry immediately found itself geared up to produce armaments, a specialisation which inevitably brought considerable attention from the German Air Force, which in 1940 and 1941 destroyed much of the city centre. In the 1950s the city emerged as a boom town and as an exemplar of a new type of city, in step with the demands and aspirations of a modern, more democratic and equitable age. Yet this book is more than just a case study. By examining the experience of Coventry in particular, the author poses questions of significance to Britain's post-war development in general. Did the construction of the welfare state after 1945 inevitably hinder the country's long-term economic development? Can the rise and fall of the Labour Party's popularity be plotted in terms of increased popular affluence? By linking Coventry's specific history to wider questions, the book will be of interest to anyone who is concerned with Britain's post-war history.
Table of Contents
List of Tables; Acknowledgements; 1. Introduction 2. The Politics of Reconstruction: War-Time Plans for a New Coventry 3. Economic Reconstruction: Coventry’s Local Economy, 1945-51 4. City Reconstruction: Building a New Coventry, 1945-51 5. Social Reconstruction? Politics and Culture in Coventry, 1945-51 6. Planning the 1950s: The Construction of the 1951 Development Plan 7. Sustainable Growth? Coventry’s Local Economy in the 1950s 8. City Reconstruction: Building a New Coventry, 1952-60 9. An ‘Affluent Society’? Politics and Culture in Coventry, 1952-60 10. Some Conclusions; Statistical Appendix; Guide to Sources and Abbreviations Used in the Notes; Notes; Index