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The Eclipse of ‘Elegant Economy’: The Impact of the Second World War on Attitudes to Personal Finance in Britain

History


by
Martin Cohen

Book Details

Format: EPUB

Page count: 262 pages

File size: 3.1 MB

Protection: DRM

Language: English

With concepts of ‘austerity’ very much in the news, this book takes a fresh look at attitudes to consumption, consumerism and personal finance in Britain during the middle decades of the twentieth century. It argues that the pre-War fear of debt and social disdain for conspicuous consumption was replaced during the 1940s and 1950s by widespread acceptance of a consumer society. As the financial woes of the 21st century force a reassessment of the sustainability of a consumer-based society, this book provides a timely reminder of how attitudes to personal finance are of greater significance to cultural history than has often been acknowledged. With prudence and restraint once more the watchwords of a financially uncertain world, ‘elegant economy’ as Elizabeth Gaskell put it, may be back on the agenda.

With concepts of ‘austerity’ very much in the news, this book takes a fresh look at attitudes to consumption, consumerism and personal finance in Britain during the middle decades of the twentieth century. It argues that the pre-War fear of debt and social disdain for conspicuous consumption was replaced during the 1940s and 1950s by widespread acceptance of a consumer society. As the financial woes of the 21st century force a reassessment of the sustainability of… (more)

With concepts of ‘austerity’ very much in the news, this book takes a fresh look at attitudes to consumption, consumerism and personal finance in Britain during the middle decades of the twentieth century. It argues that the pre-War fear of debt and social disdain for conspicuous consumption was replaced during the 1940s and 1950s by widespread acceptance of a consumer society. As the financial woes of the 21st century force a reassessment of the sustainability of a consumer-based society, this book provides a timely reminder of how attitudes to personal finance are of greater significance to cultural history than has often been acknowledged. With prudence and restraint once more the watchwords of a financially uncertain world, ‘elegant economy’ as Elizabeth Gaskell put it, may be back on the agenda.

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