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  • Published: 3 March 2022
  • ISBN: 9780141995670
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 224

A Duty of Care

Britain Before and After Covid




One of our most celebrated historians shows how we can use the lessons of the past to build a new post-corona society in Britain

The 'duty of care' which the state owes to its citizens is a phrase much used, but what has it actually meant in Britain historically? And what should it mean in the future, once the immediate Covid crisis has passed?

In A Duty of Care, Peter Hennessy divides post-war British history into BC (before corona) and AC (after corona). He looks back to Sir William Beveridge's classic identification of the 'five giants' against which society had to battle - want, disease, ignorance, squalor and idleness - and laid the foundations for the modern welfare state in his wartime report. He examines the steady assault on the giants by successive post-war governments and asks what the comparable giants are now. He calls for 'a new Beveridge' to build a consensus for post-corona Britain with the ambition and on the scale that was achieved by the first.

  • Published: 3 March 2022
  • ISBN: 9780141995670
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 224

About the author

Peter Hennessy

Peter Hennessy reported Whitehall for ten years, mainly for The Times, The Economist and the Financial Times. He is Professor of Contemporary History, at the University of London, and is married with two daughters. His most recent book is The Prime Minister (2000).

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