The Tyranny of Nostalgia: Half a Century of British Economic Decline (Hardback)Russell Jones (author)
The performance of the British economy over the past fifty-odd years does not make for comforting reading. Indeed, the story is a depressing catalogue of misapprehensions, missteps, wasted opportunities, crises and humiliations, with all-too-familiar problems arising time and again and yet never being satisfactorily addressed.
All nations and their economic policymakers are to a certain extent prisoners of their history, but this seems to apply more to the UK than to other countries. Nostalgia for the great days of the past has become tyrannical - and is in some sense embodied in the form of the Chancellor of the Exchequer's famous 'budget box', made for William Gladstone in the 1850s and only passed over to a museum in 2010. Nostalgia has led to wishful thinking, and this has been the underlying sentiment driving poorly thought through - sometimes even panicky - initiatives that were blindly borrowed from elsewhere, that flew in the face of experience, or that were drawn from theoretical and political extremes.
The Tyranny of Nostalgia describes and interprets the economic and political history of the past half a century, examining the challenges confronted by successive governments and their Chancellors, the policies employed for good or ill, and - running through it all - the desperate search for a panacea that could arrest the nation's relative decline and return the country to its supposed former glories.
Publisher: London Publishing Partnership
Number of pages: 368
Dimensions: 234 x 156 mm
"This powerful and elegant account of the twists and turns in British macroeconomic policy should be essential reading for students and practitioners alike. Russell Jones's analysis of the past half a century of British economic life - and particularly of the run-up to Brexit and of its subsequent implementation and its disastrous consequences - is absolutely stunning." (William Keegan, senior economics commentator for The Observer); "For at least half a century, British economic policy has been inept and capricious, with politicians of all parties labouring under the delusion that the country is still a major economic power. For much of that time Russell Jones has had a ringside seat observing their many mistakes and misfortunes. It is hard to read his clear-sighted and highly readable account and remain optimistic about the UK economy's next 50 years." (Professor Diane Coyle, Bennett Professor of Public Policy at the University of Cambridge and author of GDP: A Brief but Affectionate History); "The complex and persistent woes of British economic developments over the past fifty years are covered in fascinating detail by Russell Jones in this joyously readable book. The book works brilliantly both for those that have, like me, shared Jones's path through the world of high finance and for those that haven't but want to try and understand the role of individual politicians and policymakers, and the circumstances surrounding their vain attempts to steer the UK to a more fruitful pasture." (Lord O'Neill, Chairman of the Council of the Royal Institute of International Affairs)
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