By Andrew Marr

ISBN-10: 0330511475

ISBN-13: 9780330511476

This attractive quantity tells the tale of ways the nice political visions and idealisms of Victorian Britain got here to be defeated by way of a tradition of consumerism, star, and self-gratification. It explains how in every one decade, political leaders came across themselves confounded through the British humans, who consistently grew to become out to be more durable to herd than envisioned. traditionally Britain has been a rustic at the edge—first of invasion, then of financial ruin, then at the susceptible entrance line of the chilly warfare, and later within the leading edge of the good starting up of capital and migration. This heritage follows all of the political and monetary tales of the fashionable period in addition to with such social developments as comedy, vehicles, the warfare opposed to homosexuals, oil-men and punks, Margaret Thatcher’s significant reliable good fortune, political lies, and the real heroes of British theater.

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Yet these alien people were us. They are us. The cropped-haired urchins of the forties are our pensioners now. The impatient lean young adults of 1947 with their imperial convictions or socialist beliefs are around us still in wheelchairs or hidden in care homes. It was their lives and the choices they made which led to here and now. ’ Part One HUNGER AND PRIDE: BRITAIN AFTER THE WAR The Democratic Bombshell Many of us find our innermost fears or hopes take arms while we sleep, ready to strike at the moment of wakening.

Consumerism has shouldered aside other ways of understanding the world – real political visions, organized religion, a pulsing sense of national identity. Yet during 2007, the biggest change was a darkening of the national mood. It is not just global warming, but a sense that the good times are not, after all, forever. The decade-long Blair–Brown boom has been based on cheap imports from China, on very high levels of borrowing secured by upward-spiralling house prices, and on cheap, skilled migrant labour from Eastern Europe.

He was dying. There was the Conservative Foreign Secretary, Lord Halifax, who on earlier visits to Germany had found Hitler ‘most sincere’ and Goering ‘frankly attractive’, a composite character like ‘a great schoolboy . . film star, great landowner . . ’ Much favoured by the Court, a lanky, wry, religious and reactionary man, Halifax had been expected to become Prime Minister himself. But in the Lords, he was the wrong kind of Tory for these dark days and would soon be packed off to be ambassador in Washington.

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A History of Modern Britain by Andrew Marr

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