An incisive, comparative study of the development of Post–World War II progressive politics in Britain, France, and the United States
Toward the end of World War II, the three democracies 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. A highly regarded scholar of European history, Woloch persuasively adds the United States to a discussion that is usually focused solely on Europe.
Isser Woloch is the Moore Collegiate Professor Emeritus of History at Columbia University. He is the author of numerous books including The New Regime: Transformations of the French Civic Order, 1789–1820s; Jacobin Legacy: The Democratic Movement under the Directory; and Napoleon and His Collaborators: The Making of a Dictatorship.