'The name of the slough was despond'. If some latter-day John Bunyan had used these words to describe Britain in the 1970s, few would have quarrelled with him. How did Britain, victorious in the Second World War, with her politics characterised by optimism, descend over thirty years into 'the valley of humiliation'? The Politics of Decline analyses British politics from the 1940s through to the I.M.F. crisis of 1976 in a manner that is both scholarly and forcefully written, presenting a convincing explanation of what went wrong that owes nothing to the conventional wisdom.