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2018 Week 6 Course 1

Britain's Twentieth-Century Prime Ministers


since the Second World War


Michael Redley


Week 6

5 - 11 August 2018

After world wars, in which Britain had maintained its position only by mortgaging its future, major adjustment was necessary. The Prime Minister’s office was crucial for envisioning what needed to be done, and putting the muscle of the British State behind implementing change. The course looks at the nine holders of the office, from Clement Attlee to Margaret Thatcher, who wrestled with the issues between 1945 and 1997, including disposing of an unwanted empire, military over-commitment, inadequate social provision, antiquated industry, an archaic political structure and the role of Europe. It considers their personalities and foibles, and how they used the authority of the office as well as seeking to understand the options they faced and their successes and failures.





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