That Britain's industry has been in decline for 50 years is hardly disputed, yet the causes of this slide are still hotly contested. Some have attributed it to poor management, over-weening trades unions and incompetent government; others have aimed their fire at the financial markets, or deficiencies in education and training. Opinion is equally divided on the long-term value to Britain of the Thatcher era, which changed the face of the British industrial base. Through an engaging, accessible analysis of British industry since 1945, Geoffrey Owen argues that since the late 70s British industry has underdgone a painful but necessary transformation, which has rapidly modernized the UK economy. He analyses the interaction between individual firms, industries and countries, demonstrating the influence of national institutions and policies on which types of industry are likely to succeed.
Geoffrey Owen was born in 1934 and educated at Rugby and Balliol college, Oxford. He joined the Financial Times immediately after his national service, initially as a feature writer, then as US correspondent and Industry Editor. He joined the government's Industrial Organization Corporation as an executive and spent three years at British Leyland before returning to the FT as Deputy Editor in 1974, becoming Editor in 1981. Having been knighted in 1988, he left the FT in 1990 and is currently Director of Business Policy at the London School of Economics.