"The Battle for Britain" aims to reevaluate the impact of the second world war upon changes in ideology and social policy in Britain. Overturning many of our assumptions about the national spirit of 1939-1945, it analyses the mixed and often contradictory pressures influencing the formation of postwar social democratic "consensus" and the expansion of social citizenship under a welfare state. However, while in these respects the book offers a social history of the period, the main purpose of the authors is to mount a critique of the Thatcher years which have castigated in principle and dismantled in practice the postwar social reconstruction.
The authors suggest that the postwar consensus represented an ideological deviation in the history of British class politics and the Conservative party itself, until Thatcher's social and economic policies restored continuity with the ruling assumptions of the past. Innovative and timely, "The Battle for Britain" will be of interest to political scientists, historians, and sociologists.