The first volume of Hennessy's postwar history of Britain concerns an age dominated by the shadow of war. With the beginnings of the Cold War, the foundations of the new Europe and the granting of independence of former colonies, Britain was forced to negotiate a new place in the world. It was also a time of rationing and of rebuilding, marked by the founding of the NHS and the welfare state. This comprehensive history embraces both high politics and everyday experience. It recreates the mood of the time and tells us where people lived, how they worked and what they wore.