Sydney Checkland, 19 April 1984
Thirty years ago or less, students of Britain’s economic performance were offered as their centrepiece question one that was highly flattering to their own country: how did Britain achieve the miracle of the Industrial Revolution and provide the world with leadership and a deeply-envied model. Even in the Fifties and Sixties there continued to be a veiled self-satisfaction in economic history courses. Today the self-congratulation has gone. The question that has dramatised and well-nigh traumatised our approach over the past decade is the negative one: how have we come undone?