Francois Bedarida's elegant and persuasive essay on the main themes of British history since the mid-nineteenth century has been a popular text for students of the British Empire. In this edition of his widely-acclaimed work, Bedarida has added a substantial analysis of recent English history from 1975 to 1990. He takes a detached, perceptive, and quizzical view of the transformation of British society over the last fifteen years: a time which has witnessed a transformation of the British into a nation of go-getting, home-owning, share-owning entrepreneurs. While acknowledging that two-thirds of British society are better-off for the changes, Bedarida emphasizes the costs of development. He focuses on the British "under-class," the one-third of the population living below the poverty line and sliding irrevocably into squalor and oblivion. Critical, but not without hope, Bedarida finds -- in Britain's increasingly fragmented and individualistic society -- a collective conscience which continues to flicker.