In the early 1970s, Britain seemed to be tottering on the brink of the abyss. Under Edward Heath, the optimism of the '60s had become a distant memory. Now the headlines were dominated by strikes and blackouts, unemployment and inflation. As the world looked on in horrified fascination, Britain seemed to be tearing itself apart. And yet, amid the gloom, glittered a creativity and cultural dynamism that would influence our lives long after the nightmarish '70s had been forgotten.
Dominic Sandbrook has recreated the gaudy, schizophrenic atmosphere of the early '70s: the world of Enoch Powell and Tony Benn, David Bowie and Brian Clough, Germaine Greer and Mary Whitehouse. An age when the unions were on the march and the socialist revolution seemed at hand, but also when feminism, permissiveness, pornography and environmentalism were transforming the lives of millions. It was an age of miners’ strikes, tower blocks, and IRA atrocities, but it also gave us celebrity footballers and high-street curry houses, organic foods and package holidays, gay rights and glam rock. For those who remember the days when you could buy a new colour television but power cuts stopped you from watching it, this book could hardly be more vivid. It is the perfect guide to a luridly colourful '70s landscape that shaped our present from the financial boardroom to the suburban bedroom.
In Seasons in the Sun, Dominic Sandbrook explores the bitter, turbulent world of Britain in the late 1970s, the years that brought punk to prominence and Margaret Thatcher to power. With inflation mounting, rubbish in the streets, bombs going off across London, and the economy in meltdown, the days of national greatness seemed a fading memory. Across the Western world, Britain was mocked as the "Sick Man of Europe", a byword for decline and self-destruction. In 1976 alone, race riots disrupted the Notting Hill Carnival, the retirement of Prime Minister Harold Wilson was overshadowed by allegations of corruption, the Sex Pistols made their shocking debut on national television, and Britain had to go cap in hand to the IMF.
Yet as Seasons in the Sun shows, there was more to late 1970s Britain than strikes and shortages. From rock music and television sitcoms to the novels of Martin Amis and the birth of the first home computers, this was a society caught between old and new: nostalgic for what had been lost, but already looking forward to a new and very different political and social order.
©2012 Dominic Sandbrook (P)2012 Audible Ltd
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"Really brings the 74-79 period to life"
Excellent narration, including very passable imitations of the late 1970s main protagonists such as Thatcher and Callaghan. The writing is first rate. He covers politics of course, but also the major trends in music, film, drama and so on.
Its a huge book - 40 hours in total, so also excellent value for money.
No. However I will on the basis on this.
"Excellent book with a great narrator"
Detailed and absorbing book about a fascinating period in British history. David Thorpe's narration really brings the book alive.
"We had Joy, We had Fun..."
What wonderful audiobooks these are (considered as one with its prequel, "State of Emergency").
As someone who lived through these times it explains what was really going on whilst I was growing up. Comprehensively deals with all the issues of those heady days of the '70s.
The real clincher is the amazing reading David Thorpe provides, "the Narration Revelation"... Every sentence is weighted perfectly and the large cast of characters is brought to life as Thorpe expertly provides wonderful impressions of Harold Wilson, Edward Heath, Kenneth Williams and a whole host of others. This is definitely a case of the audiobook surely being more enjoyable than the printed edition.
I've now exhausted the Dominic Sandbrook audiobook titles available; can we have "Never Had it So Good" and "White Heat" please Mr. Audible?
"Like the seasons......."
A nostalgic walk down memory lane, full of things that have people of a certain age saying " ooh yes I remember that! ". Well written and researched by Dominic Sandbrook and brought to life by David Thorpe, loved his vocalisation of the characters, leads me to say " good book, well worth reading ".
"1970s Britain... just as I remember it!"
superbly written and narrated... can't praise enough. felt some degree of sorrow for sunny jim
"HOW AN AUDIOBOOK SHOULD BE."
The superb narration. This book comes alive in the voice of David Thorpe. I was born in 1972 and I have no real recollection of the events described in this book, but this superb study of the time put me right in the midst of what was happening in 1974-79.
All of it. A super concise history of the period. The fact that many of the main protagonists are still alive, and a few are still politically active today.
This is how an audiobook should be done. David Thorpe sounds like he enjoys what he is doing. The writing is top draw, history at it's best.
"Excellent and very comprehensive"
I would recommend this book to anyone interested in 1970's Britain, very comprehensive and thorough. Reminds you very mush about how dark and depressing it got in the 70's.
I like political history a lot and there was a lot of quotes and lesser known political info and detail.
Thorpe brings a seriousness and clear reading, although some of his impressions when quoting could have been a little better.
I would recommend this to anyone studying political history in the 70's, lots of detail. The audio could probably have done with a few more light hearted facts or popular culture, it was dominated by 70's politics.
"History that should never be forgotten."
Simply superb read.
Many good historical record books are available but nothing better than this.
Everything and especially his wide range of voice impressions.
Having started my own business in the 70's the author's descriptions of just how bad things were is spot on and how easy it would be for history to repeat itself given the caliber of our current politicians.
Just read it !!!
"Political history that didn't send me to sleep."
Good mix of political analysis and recollections of current events
The other books in the series. Same approach.
I was a mature adult throughout the period covered and, as well as being affected by the general political, social, economic and cultural situation, I was tangentially involved in some of the events covered. Sometimes I was perhaps too close to these events to fully understand what was their broader significance. Now I can say 'Ah, so that was what it was really all about'.
I thought both the content and the reading was superb.
I have not heard mr Thorpe before. His ability to inject life into the story was brilliant. What I particularly liked was his ability to mimic the voices of the characters who he was referring to. It really added depth to the story.
While a long book that I thought might drag, in fact it was gripping. What I particularly liked was that I felt the book did not come to the subject matter with an agenda and was both fair and where necessary critical of all the political parties of the time.
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