Warfare State: Britain, 1920-1970

Warfare State: Britain, 1920-1970

by David Edgerton
Pub. Date:
Cambridge University Press
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Warfare State: Britain, 1920-1970

This book challenges the central theme of the existing histories of twentieth-century Britain, that the British state was a welfare state. It argues that it was also a warfare state, which supported a powerful armaments industry. This insight implies major revisions to our understanding of twentieth-century British history, from appeasement, to wartime industrial and economic policy, and the place of science and technology in government. David Edgerton also shows how British intellectuals came to think of the state in terms of welfare and decline, and includes a devastating analysis of C. P. Snow's 'two cultures'.

This groundbreaking book offers a new, post-welfarist and post-declinist, account of Britain, and an original analysis of the relations of science, technology, industry and the military. It will be essential reading for those working on the history and historiography of twentieth-century Britain, the historical sociology of war and the history of science and technology.

About the Author:
David Edgerton is Hans Rausing Professor at the Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine at the Imperial College London

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521672313
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 12/08/2005
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 380
Product dimensions: 5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.87(d)

Table of Contents

List of figures     viii
List of tables     ix
Acknowledgements     xi
List of abbreviations     xiv
Introduction     1
The military-industrial complex in the interwar years     15
The warfare state and the nationalisation of Britain, 1939-55     59
The expert state: the military-scientific complex in the interwar years     108
The new men and the new state, 1939-70     145
Anti-historians and technocrats: revisiting the technocratic moment, 1959-64     191
The warfare state and the 'white heat', 1955-70     230
The disappearance of the British warfare state     270
Rethinking the relations of science, technology, industry and war     305
Appendices     339
Index     353

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