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Peering into the future: British Conservative leaders and the problem of national renewal, 1942-5

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    Rights statement: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Crowcroft, R. (2017), Peering into the future: British Conservative leaders and the problem of national renewal, 1942–5. Hist Res. doi:10.1111/1468-2281.12194, which has been published in final form at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1468-2281.12194/full. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.

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Original languageEnglish
Article numberHISR-02-2016-OA-0011.R1
Pages (from-to)788-809
JournalHistorical Research
Volume90
Issue number250
Early online date12 Oct 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017

Abstract

This article excavates how some key Conservative leaders conceptualised the problem of ‘the future’ in the final stages of the Second World War. It contends that the mental map employed by senior Conservative for navigating the challenges of post-war national renewal has remained significantly misunderstood. The article conducts a close reading of Conservative positions on a range of issues – from economic modernisation and constitutional propriety to geopolitical tensions – and highlights some previously neglected dimensions to domestic political debate. It concludes that the arguments developed by Conservative leaders were more sophisticated and coherent than has often been recognised.

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