Gentrification and the Enterprise Culture: Britain 1780-1980 (Paperback)
  • Gentrification and the Enterprise Culture: Britain 1780-1980 (Paperback)
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Gentrification and the Enterprise Culture: Britain 1780-1980 (Paperback)

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Paperback 212 Pages / Published: 12/06/2003
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The long-running debate on Britain's apparent economic decline in the last 120 years has generated a large economic and statistical literature and a great deal of heat in rival social and cultural explanations. The 'decline' has been confidently attributed to the permeation of the business elite by the anti-industrial and anti-commercial attitudes communicated by public schools and the old universities through their propagation of aristocratic and gentry values; and the readiness of the buiness elite to be thus permeated has been ascribed to the persistent tendency of new men of wealth to transform themselves into landed gentlemen. There have been equally confident claims to have overturned this traditional view that wealthy merchants and industrialists sought to acquire landed estates and country houses, and to have established that 'gentlemanly values' were in fact economically advantageous to Britain because she never was a primarily industrial economy. In this book, Professor Thompson subjects these interpretations to the test of the actual evidence, and firmly re-establishes the conventional wisdom on the characteristic desire of new money to acquire land and a place in the country, an aspiration which continues to be manifest today. At the same time, he shows that aristocratic and gentry cultures have not by any means been consistently anti-industrial or anti-business, and that many of the businessmen-turned-landowners have in fact not turned their backs on industry, but have founded business dynasties. Gentrification has indeed occurred on a large scale over the last two hundred years, but has had no discernible effects one way or the other on Britain' economic performance.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199265602
Number of pages: 212
Weight: 313 g
Dimensions: 234 x 156 x 12 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Review from previous edition It is a wonderful work, and sparkles with the wisdom and wit first seen in Thompson's classic English Society in the Nineteenth Century (1963). Not only is it rich and profound, it is remarkably brief, and always a pleasure to read. The book is a gift which no one else could confer, another high peak for a master scholar. * Avner Offer, English Historical Review *
animated by Thompson's wit and dry humour ... [t]hese outstanding essays represent a life-time's reflection on some of the key questions of twentieth-century British social history by one of its greatest exponents. * William D. Rubinstein, Times Literary Supplement *
This admirable study . . should be required reading for students of British economic history in the modern period . . .it is elegantly written, well structured in terms of analytical progression, and offers a paradigmatic example of the historian's craft in summarizing and commenting upon a controversial literature * M. W. Kirby, Economic History Review *
Michael Thompson's 1994 Ford Lectures, now published as Gentrification and the Enterprise Culture, will delight business historians. It is a measured distillation of half a century's distinguished research and writing on British landed society and social history. No historian better understands the world and workings of the landed classes in the last 200 years. * R. G. Wilson, Business History *

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