Cover image for Britain since 1789 : a concise history
Britain since 1789 : a concise history
Pugh, Martin.
Personal Author:
English language edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Press, 1999.
Physical Description:
x, 254 pages : maps ; 22 cm
General Note:
"First published as Storia della Gran Bretagna, 1789-1990. c1997 by La Nuova Italia Scientifica, Roma"--T.p. verso.
Added Uniform Title:
Storia della Gran Bretagna, 1789-1990.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
DA530 .P84 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



This readable introduction to all the main themes and changes in British society between the late eighteenth century and the end of the 20th century is an ideal volume for anyone embarking on a study of this complex subject. The author considers the extent and nature of Britain's relative economic decline since the late-Victorian period and examines imperial expansion up to 1914 and the trend towards decolonization after the second world war, culminating in an evaluation of Britain's dilemmas at the end of the 20th century.

Author Notes

Martin Pugh is Professor of Modern British History at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Pugh, a professor of modern history at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, has performed a tricky task with considerable skill. In examining British history over the last two centuries, he has chronicled and analyzed such seminal trends as the Industrial Revolution and the growth of political democracy. Despite the relative brevity of this survey, Pugh treats these subjects with sound insight and superb analytical methods. His assertions on topics ranging from the causes of industrialization to the rise of the Labour Party are frequently original and provocative. For the general reader wishing to learn about an exciting and critical period in British history, this superbly organized study will prove invaluable. --Jay Freeman

Library Journal Review

Pugh (Univ. Newcastle upon Tyne), a widely published scholar of British history, wrote this survey for Italian university students. His goal was to make his subject understandable to non-English speakers, primarily by writing short, focused chapters with minimal assumptions about the readers' knowledge. The book has 29 chapters, each nine pages or fewer. Its positive reception at the University of Rome prompted publication of this English edition. The author's assumptions make the book more accessible than most surveys, but it is understandably light on details. Pugh has to make more generalizations than in a typical survey history, and while he has the scholarly authority to do so, the result smacks of history lite. He's uncertain about his own assessment of recent events, and the book breaks no new scholarly turf. It's hard to tell where the book's audience will be in the English-speaking world; it's probably too superficial for college students but a little too demanding for high school or casual reading. Perhaps an alternate selection for public libraries?√ĄRobert C. Moore, Raytheon Electronic Systems, Sudbury, MA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

British Society and Economy in the 18th Century
British Politics and the Political System in the 18th Century
The Impact of the French Revolution, 1789-1815
The Industrial Revolution and the British People
Reaction and Radicalism, 1815-27
The Era of Reform, 1828-41
The Condition of England Question, 1832-48
The Triumph of Free Trade
Mid-Victorian Britain: Progress and Prosperity
Pax Britannica
Mid-Victorian Politics, 1846-65
The Era of Gladstonian Liberalism, 1865-85
The Age of Conservatism, 1886-1905
British Society in Decline, 1873-1902
The Working Class and Socialist Revival
The New Imperialism
The Emergence of the Interventionist State, 1905-14
The Edwardian Crisis
The Continental Commitment, 1890-1914
The Impact of the Great War
The Inter-War Economic Depression
The Rise of Labour, 1918-29
Political Stability in the 1930s
The Era of Appeasement
The Impact of the Second World War
The Era of Consensus, 1945-59
The Decline of British Power, 1945-74
Affluence and Decline, 1960-75
Thatcher and the End of Consensus Politics, 1975-97