As Deputy Prime Minister during Churchill's wartime coalition and Prime Minister during Labour's creation of the welfare state from 1945 to 1951, Clement Attlee was near to the heart of decision-making during the critical decade of the century. This concise thematic biography explores his life and achievement. Brookshire shows how Attlee, middle-class and Oxford-educated, became a committed socialist while a young social worker in London's East End. He tells the story of Attlee's career from Limehouse to Labour leadership and the premiership during one of the great reforming parliaments. Brookshire explains Attlee's undoctrinaire brand of socialism, which he integrated successfully with British democracy. He comments favourably on decisive leadership offered by Attlee in the years 1945-51, when Labour expanded social services, nationalised sectors of the economy, and developed peacetime economic planning. He also explores Attlee's significant role in external affairs over issues such as Indian independence, Britain's development of an independent nuclear deterrent, Middle East strategy, and Anglo-American ties in the evolving Cold War. The book draws on new archival material and recent scholarly studies.
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