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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Article numberHISR-02-2016-OA-0011.R1
Pages (from-to)788-809
JournalHistorical Research
Issue number250
Early online date12 Aug 2017
StatePublished - Nov 2017


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.

ID: 25088088