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This is a new edition of one of the most widely used texts on the history of social policy in Britain. Covering the period from the end of the Second World War to the present day, Howard Glennerster focuses on the Welfare State to explore the myths that have shaped popular conceptions of social policy, and which continue to dominate current debates. From the earliest days of the Welfare State, to New Labour's reform commitments for the new century, Glennerster concludes that social policy can only ever be understood in the context of the political and economic concerns of the time. For this third edition the author provides a new final chapter covering New Labour's policy in the twenty-first century and updates the book's earlier chapters, tables, charts, and select bibliography.