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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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There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

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  • Francis
    Liverpool, United Kingdom
    7/20/07
    Overall
    "A History of Modern British Politicians..."

    I did not see and therefore cannot judge the television series, but this audiobook is most enjoyable and informative. Too often professional actors do not seem to follow or to care much about what they are reading, but Andrew Marr delivers his own text with verve and enthusiasm .He has decided views on many of his topics and characters and conveys his interest to the listener. He should not give up his career in journalism to become a mimic but his imitation of their speech adds to the vividness of his portrayal of some politicians As a work of history this is very much a political rather than social history - he is clearly fascinated by politicians and is not greatly concerned with everyday lives -and many aspects of modern Britain receive scant notice, but Marr has a shrewd view of politicans and an eye for fascinating detail and telling anecdotes. The text is clearly abridged (this should be made clearer ) and possibly the audiobook exaggerates the concentration on politicians. One measure of the success of this audiobook is that it makes me and I'm sure many others keen to read the full text of the printed book .

    14 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    London
    6/26/07
    Overall
    "Highly recommended, essential brain download"

    I completely missed the TV series when it was on, but heard great things about it so was really excited to see this on Audible. Andrew Marr's narration is brilliantly entertaining, even down to his impressions of the figures in his historical account. Seriously this guy does an amazing Tony Benn, Winston Churchill and Blair. There is simply so much essential information as to the history of Britain that I want to listen over and over again. Not just dull history, but the scandalous, intriguing back stories they wouldn't dare tell you at college. It's my first ever history download from Audible... I'm keen to find more of the same!

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Nick
    kings lynn, norfolk, United Kingdom
    2/20/09
    Overall
    "Mr Marr really has come up trumps."

    On the surface the subject matter may seem dry and boring and I'm sure in the wrong hands it definately could be.
    However, Andrew Marr lends this book his own indomitable flair and passion. His unbiased narrative is both informative and interesting. The whole book reads like an epic screenplay across the century.
    Andrew Marr really is a natural and I highly recommend his book.
    If you are in two minds about this book I urge you to give it a go - you won't be disappointed!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Tim
    High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom
    3/5/11
    Overall
    "Different to the TV Series"

    Getting this for my Birthday, I was dreading that it was just a rehash & a promotion of the series on TV.
    Indeed, it has many similarities, but there is enough fresh in here to make full use of the different medium.

    As something of a history & politics buff, I found his assessment of most of our post-war leaders to be fair & frank & that he is not as pessimistic as some historians have been about this period (e.g. 'The Very Bloody History of Britain: 1945-Now'). Considering his ending moral as well (that all political careers end in failure) the book has a freshness & authenticity coupled with a sense of idealism (rather than cynicism) that often pervades political writings.

    One criticism that I'm not sure many listeners will be aware of though is that Marr appears to have quite a fondness for Thatcher. This comes over especially in his pronouncement that only 'only the 1945-51 Labour Administration & Thatcher's first two terms really dealt successfully with Britain's problems'. I note that he omits Blair's first term.
    Minor quibble though this is, I am a Thatcherite & am aware that not everyone thinks her policies were good - in fact most are divided on the subject altogether.

    That being said, one criticism I don't uphold is that this is purely 'political history' - it may concentrate on that as his specialty, but there are also many elements of social, cultural & even comedic history which keep the narrative interesting.

    And, best of all, Andrew Marr passes the test of being both a good narrator AND a good author (which is so rarely achieved in this format). And for that, I would say that this book (in any format) is a worthwhile purchase & is easy to absorb, while not compromising on facts.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Francis
    Liverpool, United Kingdom
    7/20/07
    Overall
    "A History of Modern British Politicians..."

    I did not see and therefore cannot judge the television series, but this audiobook is most enjoyable and informative. Too often professional actors do not seem to follow or to care much about what they are reading, but Andrew Marr delivers his own text with verve and enthusiasm .He has decided views on many of his topics and characters and conveys his interest to the listener. He should not give up his career in journalism to become a mimic but his imitation of their speech adds to the vividness of his portrayal of some politicians As a work of history this is very much a political rather than social history - he is clearly fascinated by politicians and is not greatly concerned with everyday lives -and many aspects of modern Britain receive scant notice, but Marr has a shrewd view of politicans and an eye for fascinating detail and telling anecdotes. The text is clearly abridged (this should be made clearer ) and possibly the audiobook exaggerates the concentration on politicians. One measure of the success of this audiobook is that it makes me and I'm sure many others keen to read the full text of the printed book .

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Richie curry
    8/14/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent"

    Pure class worth a look as always from this author very good indeed five star

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Crispin
    Tufnell Park, United Kingdom
    7/29/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "It all becomes clear"

    I was only vaguely aware of Andrew Marr until this year. His books bring events together in a coherent, humorous story that hints at lessons for a better future.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Andy
    Leatherhead, United Kingdom
    7/22/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A trip down memory lane"
    What did you like most about A History of Modern Britain?

    Very relevant to the general public


    What was one of the most memorable moments of A History of Modern Britain?

    Remembering what I was doing at the time of some of those key events


    Have you listened to any of Andrew Marr’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    First time listening to Andrew Marr, but VERY impressed!


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Not particularly


    Any additional comments?

    A book you could listen to a few times over as there is so much to take in.
    As someone growing up in the UK in the 60's, I found this a great trip back down memory lane, now understanding better some of the key events which whilst I remember, I did not really understand their impact at the time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • darren
    London, United Kingdom
    7/12/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent"
    Any additional comments?

    Although not quite as good as his other book - looking at Britain from the end of The Second World War up until the present day - this audio book is brilliant and insightful.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sophie
    6/20/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing!"

    Listened whilst travelling South America as a little reminder of home, it's fantastic. Makes you laugh in parts and think about things you'd never considered in others. Worth a listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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