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York historians contribute to new book

Posted on 27 April 2018

Two historians have made a huge contribution to a new book about Britain's overseas markets.

Historians from the University of York, Lawrence Black and David Clayton, have made major contributions to an Arts and Humanities Research Council funded investigation. In this time of mid-Brexit, which could be argued as the most disruptive shock to Britain’s trading relations since the Second World War, the investigation looks into how Britain from the 19th century onwards has ‘imagined’ its overseas markets.

This collective endeavour, supported by History & Policy, has culminated in the new book Imagining Britain's Economic Future, c.1800-1975, edited by Andrew Thompson, David Thackeray and Richard Toye (Palgrave Macmillan, May 2018). The book explores the different ways that Britain’s economic future has been 'imagined' over the last two centuries, focusing on the interplay between the high political thought of theorists, the activities of officials and businessmen, and the everyday experience of the wider public.

Lawrence Black along with a former PhD student from the Department of History at the University, Thomas Spain, wrote the chapter How Self-Service Happened, which explores the history of human interaction with machines and service. David Clayton's chapter from the book looks at how Hong Kong merchants constructed 'Colonial Capitalism'.

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