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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
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