"The Decline of Industrial Britain 1870-1980" examines why the British economy has grown more slowly than the economies of the United States, Germany, Japan, Canada, France, and Italy since 1870, and why the British standard of living has fallen in relation. The first synthetic account of Britain's long-term economic performance in more than a decade, this book addresses both specifically economic questions--did the structure of the British economy undermine the nation's competitiveness? Were British firms slow to introduce the most efficient production and marketing techniques?
Michael Dintenfass also looks at broader social-historical questions: has British culture been hostile to business achievements? Did British education fail British industry? Have the attitudes of workers undermined the economy's performance?
Written in clear and accessible prose, "The Decline of Industrial Britain" provides a concise survey of recent scholarly work on British economic and business history. Its emphasis on the central importance of entrepreneurs and managers to the long-term performance of the British economy challenges the cliometric and institutionalist interpretations that have dominated recent thinking about Britain's economic decline and directs attention to the complex sociocultural origins of the "British disease."