The Age of Urban Democracy by Donald Read
Between 1868 and 1914 – Donald Read’s ‘Age of Urban Democracy’ – English society acquired its modern shape: economically, it became predominantly industrial; socially, predominantly urban; and politically, predominantly democratic. These developments dominate this distinguished survey.
Donald Read analyses Britain’s changing role in the wider world. Although these were the years of the late-Victorian expansion of the British Empire, they also saw the decline of British diplomatic influence and the weakening of her sea-power. Donald Read examines the period of ‘splendid isolation’, the reasons for Britain’s emergence from it, and the steps by which she was drawn into the turmoil of the First World War.
This rich, detailed and absorbing study was widely acclaimed on its first appearance. It immediately established itself as a standard account of the period.