In the 1930s, Britain underwent the most profound economic crisis of the twentieth century, with high unemployment, wage cuts, benefit cuts and an overall deterioration in living standards. This was Britain suffering from the cold spread around the world by the Wall Street Crash of 1929, and it was a decade remembered for its austerity. Yet there was another side to the decade. Industrial output, which fell in 1930-32, picked up in 1933, and by the following year had exceeded 1929 totals. Remarkable growth was experienced in 1935-38, despite a shorter working week, as productivity rose with the adoption of more productive industrial techniques. There was a housing boom and also a consumer boom fuelled by cheaper clothes and household goods. Slums were cleared and smart new houses erected all over Britain. At the same time social services improved markedly, and a diversification of leisure activities was made possible by new technology, transport improvements and the provision of paid holidays. 1930s Britain provides a realistic portrait of a very diverse, and always fascinating, decade in British social history, with coverage of the home and neighborhood, work, food and drink, shopping and style, entertainment, education, social services, health and transport giving readers a truly well-rounded view of life in 1930s Britain.
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