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Author: John Ramsden
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Category: Political Science
The beginning of the 20th century wasn't a significant time in itself for change in British politics, except perhaps for the founding of the Labour Party, but a gradual shift in the political landscape had been taking place. This was a time when the status of the United Kingdom as a greatimperial power and as a strong industrial economy was ceasing to exist. The end of the 20th century gave quite a different picture. It showed a country struggling with the issue of integration into Europe (a concept barely imagined 100 years previously), a more service- less industry-orientated economy, and a political system less focused on Westminster and more focusedon the regions than ever before. The challenge facing those involved in compiling The Companion to 20th-Century British Politics was to incorporate the wide breadth of subject matter covering the events, themes, ideas, people, institutions, and places that have been important in shaping the path of political history of Britainover the past 100 years. The result is the most comprehensive and authoritative source of reference on 20th-century British politics ever written. Exploring a diverse range of topics over 100 specialist contributors, under the guidance of a team of distinguished advisory editors, have written more than 3,000 opinionated and informative entries. All the major political organisations that have functioned during the 20th century are mentioned. There are biographical entries including longer entries on all prime ministers and holders of key cabinet posts and shorter entries on many junior ministers, influential backbenchers, and partyorganisers. The book also covers key areas of economic, social, legal, foreign, and defence policies with special attention devoted to the politics of Wales, Scotland, and Ireland. Historical events and their impact on the shape of political thinking are described in detail. Political concepts andideas have entries devoted to them, as do social and economic issues. Topics of international debate such as those concerned with Europe, NATO, and Anglo-American relations are discussed at length. The whole period is covered, from the foundation of the Labour Party to mad cow disease and even theresult of the 2001 general election. BIOGRAPHIESPMs and leaders of the major and lesser parties: Harold Wilson, Tony Blair, David Steel, Oswald Mosley, William Hague, Margaret Thatcherpoliticians: Ernest Bevin, Violet Bonham Carter, Martin Bellroyalty: Diana, Princess of Wales, George V, George VIprivate secretaries to royalty: Robert Fellowes, Francis Knollysdiplomats: Lord Caradon, Oliver Harvey judges: Cyril Radcliffe, Lord Trevethinspies: John Cairncross, Oleg Gordievskymodern influential figures: Mo Mowlam, Ken Livingstone, Gerry Adamscivil servants: William Beveridge, Burke Trendkey thinkers and writers: Friedrich von Hayek, J. M. Keynes, A. J. P. Taylor, Harold Laski, Max Weberfigures in the media: Robin Day, Robert Maxwellindustrialists: Charles Clore, Alfred Mond, Evan Williamstrade unionists: Frank Cousins, Arthur Scargill, George WoodcockEVENTSmajor conflicts and wars: Falklands war, Gulf war, Second World Warcrises: oil crisis, Beef wareconomic events: Black Wednesday, convertibility crisispolitical events: Black Monday, referendum pledge, Tonypandy, Westland affair, Zinoviev letterIreland: Drumcree, Easter Rising, Peace Process mark I, Peace Process mark IIEurope: Bruges speech, Lome conventionInternational events: Blitz, Norway debate, Wall Street crash ISSUESsocial issues: crime, drugs, north-south divide, abortion, race, literacy, gambling, football hooliganism, divorceconstitutional issues: centralisation in local government, corruptionpolitical issues: local government finance, alternative vote, censorship, poll taxeconomic issues: balance of payments, inflation, free trade, rent control, stagflation, unemployment, medium-term financial strategyeducation: grammar schools, school milk, eleven-plus selectionhealth: AIDS, family planning, care in the community THEORIES AND IDEASanarchism, capitalism, fascism, feminism, game theory, oligarchy, pluralism, Marxism PUBLICATIONSbooks: Full Employment in a Free Society, One Nation, The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropistsreports: Bryce report, Finer report, Norwood reportmedia: Marxism Today, The Economist, Daily Mail, Irish Worker, Private Eyewhite papers: In Place of Strife, Sandys white paperpolicy documents: Fair Deal at Work, Looking Ahead, We Can Conquer Unemploymentfilm and television: Braveheart, Spitting Image, That Was the Week That Was ORGANISATIONSparties: Conservative Party, Green Party, National Party, Cumann na nGaedheal, Referendum Partycentral government: Bank of England, cabinet committees, Inland Revenueclubs and societies: Fabian Society, Monday clubcharities: Age Concern, National Trust, Shelterpressure groups: Anti-Waste League, Keep Sunday Special Campaignmedia: BBC, HTV, S4CEurope: European Union, European parliament, Western European Union LEGISLATION AND RULESActs of Parliament: Prevention of Terrorism Act, Single European Act, Clean Air Act, Education Acts, Race Relations Acts, Trade Union Acts SLOGANS AND SAYINGS'back to basics', 'Hitler has missed the bus', 'never had it so good' , 'No, no, no!' In addition to A-Z entries the Companion offers extra material including a list of office holders from 1900 to the present day, a classified contents list grouping headwords by topic, a table of election results including the result of the 2001 election, and a table showing dates ofministries.