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Long Road from Jarrow

A journey through Britain then and now
Narrated by: Stuart Maconie
Length: 12 hrs and 21 mins
Categories: History, European
5 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Publisher's Summary

Random House presents the unabridged downloadable audiobook edition of Long Road from Jarrow by Stuart Maconie.

In the autumn of 1936, some 200 men from the Tyneside town of Jarrow marched 300 miles to London in protest against the destruction of their towns and industries. Precisely 80 years on, Stuart Maconie walks from north to south, retracing the route of the emblematic Jarrow Crusade. Following history's footsteps, Maconie is in search of what modern Britain is really like today.

Travelling down the country's spine, Maconie moves through a land that is, in some ways, very much the same as the England of the '30s, with its political turbulence, austerity, north/south divide, food banks and, of course, football mania. Yet in other ways, it is completely unrecognisable: highstreets peppered with pound shops and e-cigarette vendors, smoothie bars and Costas on every corner.

Maconie visits the great, established and yet evolving cities of Leeds, Sheffield and London as well as the sleepy hamlets, quiet lanes and roaring motorways. He meets those with stories to tell and whose voices build a funny, complex and entertaining tale of Britain, then and now. Written in Maconie's signature style, this is a fascinating exploration of a modern nation that, though it looks and sounds strangely familiar, has been completely transformed.

©2017 Stuart Maconie (P)2017 Penguin Random House

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A Must-Read. England now and then.

a a a a a a a a a b c d e f g

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Profile Image for Mr SA Lambe
  • Mr SA Lambe
  • 08-27-17

Fabulous, edgy recreation of the Jarrow March

Initially, this must have been a simple idea - recreate the Jarrow March 80 years - to the day - after it took place in October 1936, and compare how the walkers fared to what he discovers on his own journey. Typical Maconie, you might think. However, Brexit and Trump hang so heavily over this excellent, thoughtful book, that it becomes - as well as an excellent potted account of the 1936 walk - an analysis of where England finds itself in 2016-17. As you might expect, he is no fan of Trump, May or indeed Brexit itself, nor is he a fan of Corbyn - accusing him, with some justification, of ignoring Labour's traditional working class voters, so typified by the Marchers themselves. Along the way he eulogizes about Leeds has little good to say about Market Harborough, but is charmed by the drinkers in an Italian bar in Bedford, and has other memorable encounters with multi-cultural England, most of them positive.

As you might expect, this is an entertaining book, beautifully read by the author (although be warned that there is some rather jarring editing that almost made me take a star off the performance - but I though to do so would be churlish and insulting to the author). I suspect the strong political slant may grate with one or two listeners, yet as always his points are well made and winningly argued.

Overall,Long Road From Jarrow is funny, educational and actually rather moving. Highly recommended.

PS. Any book that slips in a mention of Yes guitarist Steve Howe is fine by me.

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  • J C Foxall
  • 02-20-18

Very informative and we'll presented.

Loved this thoroughly absorbing story. Very thought provoking and well presented in Stuart's own unique way. Well worth a listen.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 01-02-19

Excellent book

A very enjoyable and informative listen. I learned a considerable amount about the Jarrow march and a lot more besides

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  • M. Stone
  • 04-02-19

Should be on the school cirriculum

As per the book's title, Stuart Maconie (the bloke off the radio), walks the same 300 mile route taken by the Jarrow marchers back in 1936. While he's at it, he compares then and now: the people, the poiltics, the food, the religions; and in so doing comes up with some pretty astute observations on things like Brexit and how the shabby, self-serving behaviour of modern politicians isn't exactly something new. Thankfully, despite this, he remains upbeat and warm and fascinating. Just the kind of bloke you'd love to have round for an evening of curry and chips and a trawl through your record collection.

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  • Ian Stanworth
  • 01-17-19

Magnificent account.

This has been a delight all the way through. Stuart at his best! I cannot recommend this retelling of an important part of British working class history enough.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 11-09-18

The long walk

Well worth the read. Once started I read it until finished. Very well written and emphasised the effort needed by the men of Jarrow.

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  • katethestate
  • 10-12-18

Should be required reading...

Well, listening. If only more people had this consideration when deciding things. If you want to understand not only a major part of recent social history and how it has reflections in our country today, get this!

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  • Jeremy Shaw
  • 06-22-18

Excellent

I’ve read a couple of Stuart’s books and enjoyed both. This one and his style are his felt enjoyable and informative. Highly recommended.
If you read this Stuart, good walking.

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  • Martin Evans
  • 03-14-18

A Great Work of Our Time

Switching between 1936 and 2016 the author illustrates the parallels between then and now whilst at the same time he describes the factual events of the Jarrow Crusade. Despite being “no platformed” by the then Labour Government he shows how the overall effect of the march - which, we are to read, was one of many similar events of that time - has had an effect on the class and geographical divides that still seem to characterise our country. Not so much funny as “....funny that!” and we see that we perhaps still face similar challenges.

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  • Mabbers
  • 01-28-18

A fantastically principled social history of England

Just loved this book and would definitely love to share a drink and a chat with Stuart who definitely comes across as a decent guy with a great sense of right and wrong. I have enjoyed all of books and this more than any although it isn’t always an easy read and is definitely light on laughs. I really thought the parallels that he drew between the events of the past and the politics of the present were both interesting and thought provoking.

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