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A History of Modern Britain | [Andrew Marr]

A History of Modern Britain

A History of Modern Britain confronts head-on the victory of shopping over politics. It tells the story of how the great political visions of New Jerusalem or a second Elizabethan Age - rival idealisms - came to be defeated by a culture of consumerism, celebrity, and self-gratification. In each decade, political leaders have thought they knew what they were doing, but found themselves confounded. Every time, the British people turn out to be stroppier and harder to herd than predicted.
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Publisher's Summary

A History of Modern Britain confronts head-on the victory of shopping over politics. It tells the story of how the great political visions of New Jerusalem or a second Elizabethan Age - rival idealisms - came to be defeated by a culture of consumerism, celebrity, and self-gratification. In each decade, political leaders have thought they knew what they were doing, but found themselves confounded. Every time, the British people turn out to be stroppier and harder to herd than predicted.

Throughout this audiobook, Britain is a country on the edge: first of invasion, then of bankruptcy, then on the vulnerable front line of the Cold War, and later in the forefront of the great opening up of capital and migration now reshaping the world. This history follows all the political and economic stories, but deals too with comedy, cars, the war against homosexuals, '60s anarchists, oil-men and punks, Margaret Thatcher's wonderful good luck, political lies, and the true heroes of British theatre.

©2007 Andrew Marr; (P)2007 Macmillan Publishers Ltd

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  • Robert
    LONDONUnited Kingdom
    3/4/09
    Overall
    "GUARDIANESQUE HISTORIAN OF BRITAIN"

    If you want to understand the standard middle class metropolitan view of British history written by an Alastair Campbell who managed to stay awake during his time at Cambridge University this is it, and very good too. It is well-delivered standard view of the second half of the twentieth century seen through this reformed communist's lens that never deviates from the standard script: the NHS - not a theft from local communities already serving the people and transforming it into a burocracy with increasingly little to do with healthcare, an smug assault on the First and Second World War survivors found "embarrassing" when Marr was growing up, and the world reduced to a hippyish 1968 Weltanschauung - the USA (bad) v the rest (the unexplained alternative we never took, Britain hideously white and Thatcher not believing in society rather than Thatcher believing in individuals. Despite the barely suppressed desire for a secular Orwellian tolerant British collectivism, this history repays a listen and gives a lucid portrait of why Britain is how it is now: a mixture of turbo-statism hitched to turbo-capitalism, the latter funding the former and dring the morals an elitist statist Kleptocracy

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Ybunny
    1/13/09
    Overall
    "a fantastic book"

    I've only really had a passing intrest in pollotics, so it's quite an achivment for this book to gave me a good grasp of major events which has shaped Britian to what it is today, and to do it in a way that was easy to follow and keep it enjoyable.
    A superb book, well writen and informative. Easy to follow and listen to.
    I would recommend this book to anyone that has even a passing intrest in pollotics of Britian.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Nigel
    Presteigne, Powys, United Kingdom
    9/2/08
    Overall
    "how we got here!"

    Far from being a dry chronological history, the book is delivered in Andrews normal lively and enthusiastic style. I now undrstand the complexaties which make today, today. It also shakes your belief in those you think know better. On the whole a wonderfully entertaining and skillfully told history. If you like Andrew, you'll love this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tom
    PurleyUnited Kingdom
    11/1/07
    Overall
    "I have chosen well"

    Well read, well written, funny and interesting. Not a big fan of history in general, thought I'd take a chance and am very pleased.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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