From Empire to Europe: The Decline and Revival of British Industry Since the Second World War

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9780002556828: From Empire to Europe: The Decline and Revival of British Industry Since the Second World War

Renowned industrial expert Geoffrey Owen analyses the complex reasons behind the delayed modernization of post-war British industry.

That Britain’s industry has been in decline for fifty years is hardly disputed, yet the causes of this slide are still hotly contested. Some have attributed it to poor management, over-weening trades unions and incompetent government; others have aimed their fire at the financial markets, or deficiencies in education and training. Opinion is equally divided on the long-term value to Britain of the Thatcher era, which changed the face of the British industrial base.

Through an engaging, accessible analysis of British industry since 1945, Geoffrey Owen argues that since the late seventies British industry has underdgone a painful but necessary transformation, which has rapidly modernized the UK economy.

He analyses the interaction between individual firms, industries and countries, demonstrating the influence of national institutions and policies on which types of industry are likely to succeed. Comparisons with post-war France and Germany serve to distinguish what led to the inertia and then decline of Britain’s manaufacturing industries at a time when those of other countries were flourishing, followed by the partial recovery of the 1980s and 1990s in the wake of the Thatcher revolution.

Including case studies of a wide variety of industries, such as steel, paper, engineering, motor vehicles, electronics, aerospace, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, Owen writes with clarity and authority.

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About the Author:

Geoffrey Owen was born in 1934 and educated at Rugby and Balliol college, Oxford. He joined the Financial Times immediately after his national service, initially as a feature writer, then as US Correspondent and Industry Editor. He joined the government’s Industrial Organization Corporation as an executive and spent three years at British Leyland before returning to the FT as Deputy Editor in 1974, becoming Editor in 1981. Having been knighted in 1988, he left the FT in 1990 and is currently Director of Business Policy at the London School of Economics.

Dalla quarta di copertina:

British industry, according to conventional wisdom, failed abysmally after the Second World War. Incompetent managers, bloody-minded trade unionists and short-sighted governments have been variously blamed for what went wrong. But the failure, if there was one, was only relative. The spectacular growth achieved by West Germany, France and Italy in the first thirty years after the war made Britain look sluggish by comparison.

Part of the reason for this disparity was that, while the continental countries were trading mainly with each other, British industry was slow to shift away from its traditional focus on the empire. In other ways, too, British firms clung for too long to business practices which had served them well before the war. A shock was needed to break down these attitudes and it came, under Margaret Thatcher's government, in the 1980s. Since then there has been a remarkable improvement in industrial performance. The 'British disease' has been confined to history.

This is the story, told with a wealth of supporting detail, which distinguished industrial expert Geoffrey Owen presents in this book. Through vivid case studies of key industries – from textiles and ship-building to cars, electronics and chemicals – he explains why some industries collapsed while others stayed healthy, and challenges widely held assumptions about British industrial decline.

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Owen, Geoffrey
Editore: HarperCollins Publishers (2000)
ISBN 10: 0002556820 ISBN 13: 9780002556828
Nuovi Rilegato Quantità: 1
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Descrizione libro HarperCollins Publishers, 2000. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria DADAX0002556820

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