While it is central to today’s politics, few people fully understand the National Debt and its role in shaping the course of British history. Without it, Britain would not have gained–and lost–two empires, nor won its wars against France and Germany. But Britain has also been moulded by attempts to break free of the Debt, from postwar Keynesian economics to today’s austerity.
Martin Slater writes a vivid tale coloured with some of the most dramatic incidents and personalities of Britain’s past–from clashes between King and Parliament, American independence and war in Europe, to the abolition of slavery, the development of the Union and the role of leading figures such as Pitt, Gladstone, Adam Smith and Keynes.
From medieval times to the 2008 financial crash and beyond, The National Debt explores the changing fortunes of the Debt, and so of Great Britain.
Martin Slater was Economics Fellow at St Edmund Hall, Oxford for over thirty years before retiring in 2013. He has also served as Oxford’s Economics Sub-Faculty chair and as a managing editor of Oxford Economic Papers. Principally an industrial economist, recent years have stimulated his interest in the peculiarities of debt.