Author(s): James Hamilton-Paterson
Between 1939 and 1945, Britain produced around 125,000 aircraft - to take one example - and enormous numbers of ships, motor vehicles, armaments and textiles. We developed radar, antibiotics, the jet engine and the computer. Less than seventy years later, the major industries that had made Britain a global power industrially and militarily, and had employed millions, were dead. These industries had collapsed within a mere three decades. Had they really been doomed, and if so, by what? Can our politicians have been so inept? Was it down to the superior competition of wily foreigners? Or were our rulers culturally too hostile to science and industry?
James Hamilton-Paterson, in this evocation of the industrial world we have lost, analyses the factors that turned us so quickly from a nation of active producers to one of passive consumers and financial middlemen.