nurses had the chance to support the development of the profession
in the post-warBritish hospital system. The reason for the limited
acknowledgement of these new and important nursing methods in
hospitals has previously been levelled at the profession itself. The
demobbed nurses could not or would not re-engage with such a rigid
system. The nurses’ testimonies used in this book suggest a more
complex depiction of post-war opportunities.
Hospitals did not encourage living out and, despite government
claims that opportunities for independent living should be
is, in fact, a school of thought that is its exact opposite, one that presents
post-warBritain as defined by repression and tired conformity. Advocates of this view see change as heralding a much-needed liberation for
hitherto excluded groups, such as the young, women, workers and
ethnic minorities. According to them, instead of loss, the 1960s brought
considerable gains and on that basis should be celebrated rather than
Rather than seeing the period in zero-sum terms, others focus on
how Britain after 1945 engaged with ‘modernity’. Within this frame
Dietary advice and agency in North America and Britain
D. Bell and J. Hollows, ‘Towards a history of lifestyle’, in Bell and Hollows (eds), Historicizing Lifestyle , p. 4; Giddens, Modernity and Self-Identity , p. 3.
J. Kirby, ‘Working too hard: experiences of worry and stress in post-warBritain’, in M. Jackson (ed.), Stress in Post-War
argued that state involvement in the well-being of the next generation was essential if democracy, with its checks and balances, could be secured against the extremes of totalitarianism.
Similarly, Martin Francis has outlined the limits of emotional economy in post-warBritish political life.
The performance of emotional balance, self-restraint and rationality was particularly important in the Labour Party during the early post-war years, given political and
. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1950).
17 Martin D. Moore, Managing Diabetes, Managing Medicine: Chronic Disease and Clinical Bureaucracy in Post-WarBritain (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2019).
18 Virginia Berridge, Marketing Health (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007).
19 Porter, Health Citizenship ; Huisman and Oosterhuis, ‘The politics of health and citizenship’.
20 See, for example, the history of health and safety and changing notions of “risk” for
logical place to begin a review of modern education in Britain has to be the
passage of the 1944 Education Act. This should be seen as part of the process of
re-building post-warBritain, a task which was the subject of much agreement
between the political parties. It was sponsored by R.A. Butler (and is sometimes
known as the ‘Butler Act’), the Conservative Education minister in the all-party
coalition of the day. The principles and intentions of the Act were as follows:
Understanding British and European political issues
1 The ‘Board of Education’ (of which
and not life itself as he does in the story, but
blank expression as he descends the staircase to greet his parents seems
to register the change he has undergone: it is a look which has put
aside childish things.
This brings me back to The Sixth Sense and
Magnolia , to that child who started life in post-warBritish
films. Raymond Durgnat has chronicled the era
State: A History of Public Health from Ancient to Modern Times (London: Routledge, 1999).
5 Roberta Bivins, ‘ “The people have no more love left for the Commonwealth”: Media, migration and identity in the 1961–62 British smallpox outbreak’, Immigrants & Minorities , 25:3 (2007), 263–89; Roberta Bivins, Contagious Communities: Medicine, Migration, and the NHS in Post-WarBritain (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015).
6 Bivins, ‘ “The people have no more love left” ’ and Bivins, Contagious Communities
M. D. Moore, ‘Reorganising chronic disease management: diabetes and bureaucratic technologies in post-warBritish general practice’, in M. Jackson (ed.), The Routledge History of Disease (London: Routledge, 2017), p. 460.
3 R. D. Hill, ‘Community care service for diabetics in the Poole area’, BMJ , 1:6018 (1976), 1139.
4 Such as asthma or ‘chronic rheumatism’: J. Fry, Common Diseases: Their Nature, Incidence and Care , 2nd edition (Lancaster: MTP Press Limited, 1979), pp. 22–4.
the public sat at the heart of many scandals, and the issue greatly concerned bodies claiming to speak for patient-consumers. The emergence of these organisations during the 1960s coincided with the broader professionalisation of collective consumer voices in post-warBritain and their institutionalisation within state bodies. 11 Moreover, groups like the Patients’ Association built upon contemporaneous public demands for autonomy and political accountability. Recent research on the 1970s and 1980s, for instance, has traced the migration of accountability practices