The creation of Britain's welfare state in 1948 was an event of major international importance. Designed to provide a concise introduction to the evolution of both the structure of the welfare state and attitudes towards it. Concentrates on five core services: health care, education, social security, the personal social services and housing. For each service it examines the original vision, the attempts to implement this vision, the resulting complexities and controversies and, above all, the impact on individual 'customers'. A wide range of documentary evidence is used, including published and unpublished government sources, political memoirs, newspaper exposes and personal testimony.
Margaret Jones is a Research Fellow in the Department of Historical Studies at the University of Bristol. Rodney Lowe is Professor in Economic and Social History at the University of Bristol