Conflict in many forms characterised the 1980s: war in the South Atlantic, the miners' strike, social unrest and political polarization. By 1981, unemployment had escalated dramatically and Margaret Thatcher's popularity had plummeted. Victory in the Falklands revived Tory fortunes, but the fact that the Labour Party had rendered itself unelectable also helped. By the 1987 election, although Neil Kinnock had dealt with the hard left, it was not enough to dent Thatcher's majority. Conservative hegemony was assured for the rest of the decade.
Solutions to the Northern Ireland situation remained as elusive as ever. The IRA's Brighton bomb nearly wiped out Thatcher and her cabinet, and stunned the public. But throughout these years, there were moments of celebration. Prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer in July 1981, and England won the Ashes that summer. The decade ended on a note of hope: reform in the Soviet union spread outwards and in 1989 the Berlin Wall fell. The Cold War was over.
Bystanders, broadcasters, and politicians describe these events and many others. History is heard in the making, for example with the Argentinean storming of the Falklands Broadcasting Station. While the 1980s are too close for a true historical perspective, what emerges here is that this decade was one of the most confrontational periods of the century.
Thought-provoking and moving, these are the voices of the past, speaking to the present.
© and (P)2005 BBC Audiobooks Ltd
This five hour audio download from Audible Books covers Great Britain during the 1980s. It combines light narration with an abundance of old recordings (mostly interviews, news broadcasts, and speeches) into a quick historical overview of the decade. Loosely strung together by subject, not chronological order, the classic 80???s sound bites offer a colorful sample of past years on the other side of the pond. However, it lacked a serious assessment of the positive and negative effects of the major reforms and policy shifts during the ???Thatcher years,??? a somewhat stunning omission. The tendency of this work to favor the opinions of common football rioters, labor unionists, and left-wing demonstrators, over law enforcement, senior leaders, and historical analysts leaves it lacking depth and feeling rather myopic.
I would for the history that many might not know about.
I can't pick just one really.
A must-have for history buffs.
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