Land Fit for Heroes: The planning of British reconstruction, 1916-1919

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9780226403946: Land Fit for Heroes: The planning of British reconstruction, 1916-1919
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"Land Fit for Heroes" is the first full account of Britain's effort to plan for postwar reconstruction during World War I. Using public archives, as well as documents to which access had been forbidden under the "fifty-year rule,"Johnson shows that the conventional assessment of British reconstruction as a haphazardly planned failure is inadequate. Johnson reassesses each of the three questions which make this topic highly controversial today. (1) Was the reform effort genuine, and what were the causes of its partial collapse? (2) What was the scope and the impact of decontrol? (3) What was the relationship between war and reform? Focusing on the realities of governmental thought and action, Johnson traces continuities and identifies the similarities and differences between the reform efforts of the First World War and the greater efforts of the Second. Three governments supported planning, and an enormous range of leading British figures took part. Public opinion played a crucial role, even in the worst days of the war, and produced a vast literature which Johnson examines in this volume. Although it came much sooner than expected, armistice found many plans ready, but it found the Cabinet quite unready, precipitating three months of improvisation which augured badly for Britain's plans. Recovering admirably, the Government moved toward the fulfillment of long-range plans in 1919, producing landmark reforms in welfare and housing. As Johnson explains, "the denouement was a product of zeal, vigor, over-optimism, blunders in finance and decontrol, overtures to co-operation across class lines, hindrances from Labour, and the sheer disruptive effect of four and one half years of war." Johnson concludes that Britain made a reform which prevailed against the chaos of armistice to create changes marking 1919 as a major period of reform.

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Johnson, Paul Barton
Published by University of Chicago Press (1969)
ISBN 10: 0226403947 ISBN 13: 9780226403946
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Better World Books: West
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Book Description University of Chicago Press, 1969. Condition: Good. Ships from Reno, NV. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Seller Inventory # GRP92230599

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