The great forgetting

The past, present and future of Social Democracy and the Welfare State

By Jack Luzkow

The great forgetting


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Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-9638-9
  • Pages: 286
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £80.00
  • Published Date: April 2015
  • BIC Category: Political science & theory, POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Social Services & Welfare, POLITICAL SCIENCE / General, Society & social sciences / Social welfare & social services, Society & social sciences / Political science & theory, Politics, Politics & government


Today the US and the UK are at a crossroads. Millions are out of work, millions (in the US) are still deprived of health care, millions have lost their homes, and we are collectively more unequal than we have been since the 1920s. Both countries will experience massive social upheavals if they don't reduce social inequality, invest massively in education and infrastructure, commit themselves to securing jobs for all who want them, change tax structures that coddle the 1 percent, rein in the anarchy of big banks by reregulating (or nationalising) them, and liberate the captive state from the financial institutions of Wall Street and the City of London.

Social inequality is neither inevitable, nor the result of globalisation. It is the outcome of social and economic policies embraced by the 1 percent. This can be reversed by more social democracy, not less, by recovering the state for the 99 percent.


1. Where are we today? And how happy are we now that we are here?
2. Social equality: why it matters
3. The way we used to be and could be again
4. How we fell into the memory hole and got to where we are today
5. Social democracy forgets its identity: what really ended in 1989?
6. Rethinking the state
7. Rethinking the past: reimagining the future
8. Europe versus America: a summing up
Select bibliography


Jack Lawrence Luzkow is Professor of History at Fontbonne University

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