The Pride and the Fall: The Dream and Illusion of Britain as a Great Nation

Correlli Barnett, Author Free Press $29.95 (359p) ISBN 978-0-02-901851-4
The seeds of Britain's postwar economic decline, according to this blistering indictment, were planted during World War II. The country's wartime establishment""latterday White Knights'' deluded by their own patriotic rhetoricneglected to modernize traditional industries. Chapters on the coal, steel, shipbuilding and aircraft industries tella dismal tale of old equipment, outdated organizational methods, inefficient control systems and overdependence on the U.S. German industry actually performed better during the war than Britain's sagging industrial machine, the author maintains. Barnett ( The Desert Generals, etc.) lambasts modern Britain's professional training system, which he deems incapable of producing skilled, motivated workersfrom boardroom to shop floor. He also blames overcrowded, unsanitary working-class housing for moral decline. While he offers few practical solutions, his slashing critique makes compelling reading. (March)
Reviewed on: 03/31/1987
Release date: 04/01/1987
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