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The politics of retirement in Britain, 1878-1948

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Based on much original research, this book examines in detail the emergence of retirement as a social issue in the period 1878 to 1948, focusing in particular on the evolution of state pensions. Important new insights are offered into the role of key individuals, such as William Blackley, Joseph Chamberlain, and Charles Booth and interest groups, such as the Charity Organisation Society, the friendly societies, the labour movement and pensioners' organisations. Subsequent sections examine the shift to contributory pensions as part of the 'new Conservatism' of the 1920s, the debate on retirement pensions in the following decade, the treatment of old age poverty by the inter-war social surveys, and the concern over the 'burden' of an ageing population in the late 1930s. The book concludes with a radical reinterpretation of the 1942 Beveridge Report. This book promises to be the definitive history of state pensions in Britain.

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