The Decline of Power, 1915–1964

Robert Blake
Date Published
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Between the disintegration of the Liberal Party in 1915 and the election of Harold Wilson’s Labour in 1964, Britain weathered a turbulent half-century including two world wars and many profound socio-political changes. What did not survive this tumult was Britain’s sea-based Empire, as the great land-based USA and USSR now assumed dominance. With customary wit, scholarship and wisdom Robert Blake guides the reader through Britain’s slow decline from the world’s premier power to a nation with no military commitments East of Suez: still important, wishing to see itself as ‘a cut above the rest’, but now effectively no better than third-ranking.

‘[T]he most successful sections [are] the four brilliant chapters on the Second World War… But it is not only for these that The Decline of Power should be read. It is a fair-minded book… fluently, even racily written…’ Peter Pulzer, London Review of Books


Robert Blake (1916-2003) was the pre-eminent Tory historian of his day. In addition to his masterpiece, his biography of Disraeli, his books include Bonar Law: The Unknown Prime Minister, The Conservative Party from Peel to John Major and a volume in the Paladin History of England, (a series which he edited), The Decline of Power, 1915-1964. These and Disraeli’s Grand…

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