The Postwar Moment: Progressive Forces in Britain, France, and the United States after World War II, by Isser Woloch

The Postwar Moment: Progressive Forces in Britain, France, and the United States after World War II, by Isser Woloch

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Toward the end of World War II, Britain, France, and the United States faced a common choice: return to the civic order of prewar normalcy or embark instead on a path of progressive transformation.

In this ambitious and original work, Isser Woloch assesses the progressive agendas that crystallized in each of the allied democracies: their roots in the interwar decades, their development during wartime, the struggles to enact them in the early postwar years, and the mixed outcomes in each country.

The Postwar Moment examines three progressive postwar manifestos that reveal a common agenda in the three nations. The issues at stake included priorities for reconstruction or reconversion; “full employment” via economic planning; price controls; the roles of trade unions; expansion of social security; national health care; public housing; and educational reform.  

“Written with analytical verve, The Postwar Moment combines unflinching scrutiny with narrative power.  From the riveting opening through its rich national histories and bracing comparative conclusion, this absorbing work reshapes how we understand the fate of progressive and democratic ambitions.” - Ira Katznelson