A critical essay on the declining economic and military greatness of Britain after World War I. The banking and industrial institutions that made Britain financially rock solid had been fatally weakened. Yet too many financiers and politicians were loathe to make accommodations for Britain's weakened state, and the country's voting population was generally unaware of the situation. Thus Britain continued diplomatically to play the part of a first-class world power, trying to impose a European settlement upon Germany, acting as the policeman of Europe, and telling the United States that its help was not needed. This was not only a bluff, it was self-deception.
Gilbert's critical analysis concludes with an examination of wartime politics, the effects of wartime civil defense activities on the postwar welfare states, and the astonishing defeat of Winston Churchill.
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