'Thirteen wasted years'? Or the dawn of a new 'affluent society'? This book explores which description more appropriately fits the era of Conservative government in Britain after 1951. The author assesses the changing fortune of successive administrations under Churchill, Eden, Macmillan and Douglas-Home. He also analyses broader questions such as post-war 'decline', the nature of 'consensus politics' and the electoral effects of Britain's entrenched class system. In the first major stuy to have access to all official papers for 1951-64, Dr Jefferys provides a fresh critique of a key period in British political history.