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Elizabeth Gaskell might have been amused to learn that the Victorian 'elegant economy' she mocked so poignantly in Cranford reached a new apogee in the mid-twentieth century and endured the invasion of its precise antithesis, 'conspicuous consumption'. For Britons of all classes the years of austerity during and after the Second World War were years of disorientation and fears of resurgence of the worst of the interwar decades. They had never had more money in their pockets or less material things on which to spend it. Many took refuge in the 'elegant economy', its creator dubbed 'a sort of sour-grapeism, which made us very peaceful and satisfied'. Constrained by rationing, manufacturing and import controls personal finance could only be disbursed on non-material things - sometimes wisely, sometimes pragmatically and sometimes by throwing all caution to the wind. Here for the first time is the history of these diverse reactions explored through Britain's metamorphosis from austerity to affluence, with consumerism seen through fresh eyes. Today political commentators constantly warn of the encroachment of austerity. This book is a timely reminder of the years of real austerity in Britain: when regardless of financial status everyone suffered its tribulations: when a 'sub-prime' mortgage was unimaginable: when abuse of expense claims by public figures was unthinkable: and when no one dared utter a word critical of their bank or its manager.
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Dr Martin Cohen, Queen Mary University of London, UK.Review:
'There has been extensive work on consumption, but very little on how people use or think about money. Accordingly, for anyone who wants to understand about the development of Britain's post-war consumer society this is the book.' Peter Catterall, Queen Mary University of London, UK 'An unusual premise [...] forms the backdrop for some interesting discussion. Cohen's monograph sits somewhere between a conventional economic history and a cultural history of attitudes towards personal finance.' Twentieth Century British History 'This is an excellent, readable book, which draws on a wide range of archival material, in particular, bank and savings archives, as well as the mass observation archives at the University of Sussex... a must read for those interested in personal finance and for those wishing to study the unique case study of Britain in austerity during and after World War II.' Enterprise and Society
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Book Description Routledge, 2012. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1409439720
Book Description Ashgate Publishing Company. Condition: New. pp. 262 , 3 Illus. Seller Inventory # 58037415
Book Description Routledge, 2012. Hardback. Condition: NEW. 9781409439721 This listing is a new book, a title currently in-print which we order directly and immediately from the publisher. For all enquiries, please contact Herb Tandree Philosophy Books directly - customer service is our primary goal. Seller Inventory # HTANDREE01020212
Book Description Ashgate Pub Co, 2012. Hardcover. Condition: Brand New. 230 pages. 9.49x6.42x0.79 inches. In Stock. Seller Inventory # __1409439720