Regenerating England: Science, Medicine and Culture in Inter-war Britain, Volume 60
Christopher Lawrence, Anna-K. Mayer
Rodopi, 2000 - History - 316 pages
In the inter-war years there was much debate in Britain as to whether the best path to post-World War I regeneration would be found in the promises of science and technology, in continued and increased efficiency, in specialization and professionalization or whether the future of the nation depended on a rediscovery of older (and more authentic) ways of doing things, on a defiant anti-modernism. This debate on Britain's future was often conducted in terms of Englishness and the rebirth of a lost, more spiritual, village England. However, 'Englishness' also entered inter-war social thinking through eclectic assimilations of diverse traditions. Prominent themes in the discourses on Britain's post-war regeneration include national character, citizenship, fitness, education, utopia, community and so on. The chapters in the present volume address these themes and break new ground by examining debates well known in political and literary history through their relations to science, medicine, architecture and ideas of social and political 'health'.
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Page 5 - ... history for the belief that what the masses think to-day society as a whole will infallibly believe to-morrow ; that religions, philosophies, political ideas rise like exhalations from the cottage, the workshop, and the market-place. On the contrary, it would appear from what we know of the history of new ideas that, even if they do not fall like the rain from heaven, they make their first appearance somewhere near the summit of the social fabric and percolate downwards, not infrequently suffering...