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By Andrew Marr

This enticing quantity tells the tale of the way the nice political visions and idealisms of Victorian Britain got here to be defeated by way of a tradition of consumerism, megastar, and self-gratification. It explains how in every one decade, political leaders chanced on themselves confounded through the British humans, who constantly grew to become out to be tougher to herd than estimated. traditionally Britain has been a rustic at the edge—first of invasion, then of financial disaster, then at the susceptible entrance line of the chilly warfare, and later within the leading edge of the good starting up of capital and migration. This background follows the entire political and fiscal tales of the fashionable period in addition to with such social developments as comedy, automobiles, the battle opposed to homosexuals, oil-men and punks, Margaret Thatcher’s excellent sturdy good fortune, political lies, and the genuine heroes of British theater.

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Rattling around in buses and trams, the heart of his journey was in places like Wolverhampton, St Helens, Bolton, Liverpool, Gateshead, Jarrow and Shotton, where he searched out slums and blighted shipyards, grim factories and desperate mining villages. He found wastelands, industrial decline so bad that it made him question whether the whole nineteenth-century industrial revolution had been worth it. No expert in industry, Priestley had a sharp eye. He describes the Blackburn Technical College, full of ‘industrious, smiling young men from the East, most anxious to learn all that Lancashire could tell them about the processes of calico manufacture’.

He excels in providing compelling summaries of leading political figures’ Sunday Telegraph ‘Marr has a gift for narrative and précis, a pithy turn of phrase and an ability to unearth the unfamiliar, and he is passionately engaged with his subject’ The Times A History of Modern Britain Andrew Marr was born in Glasgow. He graduated from Cambridge University and has enjoyed a long career in newspaper journalism, working for the Scotsman, the Independent, the Economist, the Express and the Observer.

The history of modern Britain tells us we have had some narrow squeaks, but also that we have done some extraordinary things – even more extraordinary than going shopping and worrying about house prices. This gives no alibi for pessimism. At the risk of sinking to sales patter, I would say – don’t panic about the crystal ball when you can settle down and read the book. Andrew Marr 2008 Prologue The play starts on the afternoon of 28 May 1940, at a meeting of the war cabinet in the Prime Minister’s office in the old House of Commons.

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