Yes. This and "State of Emergency", Sandbrook's other book about the early '70s in the UK.
Like "State of Emergency", Sandbrook continues to blow my mind about how desperate these times were for the Brits but how they always managed to persevere.
The story of Liberal Party head Jeremy Thorpe, involving a plot to murder a former lover. The would-be hit-man did manage to kill the lover's dog. Crazy story.
I was depressed when I finished it.
I wish Sandbrook's books on Britain in the Sixties were available on Audible. Can't wait for his books on the Eighties. This gave me great perspective on where the Thatcherite movement came from.
I trust Google translated "My Way" correctly the way, with the Sinatran vibe it connotes. I think a very even-handed look at an historical figure who's often been characterized as a power-hungry madman, setting the record straight on his case against the aristocrats of Rome. Goldsworthy paints a vivid picture of Roman political life circa 1st century BCE, how it sat on a figurative powder keg bound to be lit by any number of cravenly ambitious men, and how the events of 49 BCE conspired to make Caesar the one who crosses the Rubicon. The book also excellently portrays Caesar's generation of peers coming of age during the Social Wars, the bloody Sullan/Marian civil wars and Spartacus' uprising, when many of the Republic's ancient checks and balances were irreparably damaged. No surprise many saw use of violent force the only way to power while others, haunted by the Sullan/Marian dictatorships' recurrence, doubled down on stamping out any attempt at one man gaining special powers at the expense of the public good.
My only complaint (and this is due to my own laziness) is the middle third's concentration on the Gallic Wars. All those tribe names begin to sound the same after awhile and there's lots of talk about building camp and gathering supplies. I'm nitpicking really, b/c the Gallic campaigns are what forged Caesar the military genius- gave him his connection to his legions and in the process merely changed the couse of Western European history forever.
Derek Perkins narration is superb. Adrian Goldworthy's writing and research are superb.
The lecture is successful in completely covering the motivations behind the American War of Independence but Prof. Mancall is a horrible speaker. He's constantly tongue-tied and he sounds like he's reading aloud.
Anyone interested in recent UK history, absolutely essential listening or reading. Especially for non-British listeners/readers who have no memory of the events and times.
It seems comprehensive- from Whitehall on down to the Yorkshire mine strikers and every middle-class concern in between. It covers gov't policies on wages and taxes, social movements like feminism and immigration, and pop cultural moments such as Bowie, Rising Damp and A Clockwork Orange in an equally entertaining manner. Despite the utter bleakness of energy shutdowns, general strikes, and stagflation there always seems to be light at the end of the tunnel.
It also helped me understand a lot of the Monty Python sketches I saw as a kid. They'd reference British politicians like Heath or Maudling, often using them as punchlines. I wouldn't get the joke but I'd laugh anyway b/c they were just that funny and I figured I'd get it someday. Or when Eric Idle had to read copy by candlelight wrapped around a blanket. Oh how absurd they are! Nope- that was a lot closer to reality than I could've imagined. Today's the day I got those references. Not just Python, but movies like "Clockwork" and "Straw Dogs" and "Get Carter" now have more meaning b/c of the context provided by this book.
And because of this book I've discovered for myself Kenneth Williams!
His voice is much better than the voice in my head. I love his voice caricatures of the variety of characters in the book: Edward Heath, Kenneth Williams, and Tony Benn in particular.
"You thought the breakup of The Beatles was bad...you ain't seen nuthin' yet!"
The '70s in general gets short shrift as that tacky decade between The Sixties and the rise of Thatcher/Reagan and technology. But that's when so much build-up of the promise of the previous decade ran smack dab into harsh reality; that the world power Great Britain had to learn to live within strict limits, having lost its empire and dealing with the new global economy. As a left-leaner, I had to open my mind to a critique of Keynesian economics and I felt the author is very equitable in his assessments of UK economic policy. As an American in the 21st century, I take for granted low inflation, higher unemployment and a working power grid so hearing about the struggles between the Tories and Labour was utterly alien and fascinating.
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