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"This is a useful general history and an invaluable work of reference." Irish Democrat
"There are many positive aspects to this book. Above all, it is extremely well written. It also draws upon the author′s extensive and detailed knowledge of the twentieth century ... Marwick′s material on Britian during both wars is impressive. His treatment of cultural and literary issues is impeccable ... The last chapter, ′The Nineties, Nasty, then Nice′ is well drawn and assesses the emergence, achievements and failures of ′New Labour, New Britain′ ... Marwick has produced a book which must be one of the first ports of call for any student seeking a background knowledge of the issues and events of British twentieth–century history." History
"... a narrative of high quality, marked by erudition, apposite quotations and economy of words ... Students will undoubtedly benefit from its clarity and range..." Contemporary British History
The author describes the "big events" that dominated British politics through the twentieth–century. He gives due weight to developments outside England in Scotland and Wales, and provides substantial coverage of the Irish question, highlighting the extent to which Ireland has been a preoccupation throughout the period. Alongside this narrative, Professor Marwick explains the underlying forces operating at each stage, linking these long–term "circumstances" to the political decisions of the time. This dual approach allows for penetrating analysis and reflection, helping to create for the reader a full picture of British life in the period. For instance, the book offers not only a discussion of the politics of the First and Second World Wars, but also an analysis of the economic and ideological repercussions of the wars and their consequences for British society at large. The volume also covers themes such as the cultural revolution, women′s and gay liberation, economic recession and recovery, and social change in the 1990s.
Professor Marwick writes in an engaging way, suitable for general readers and students. Throughout he emphasizes the "reflexive quality" of the book, inviting readers to reflect on the nature of historical study and to participate actively in the historical enquiry.