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Hope and Glory: The Days that Made Britain [Paperback]

Stuart Maconie
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
Price: 11.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

9 Jun 2011

'These were the days that made us, and these are the day trips to find them. Should we do a flask? And are you sure you'll be warm enough in that coat?'

In Hope and Glory Stuart Maconie goes in search of the places, people and events that have shaped modern Britain. Starting with the death of Queen Victoria, to the Battle of the Somme and the General Strike, and on to the docking of the Empire Windrush and Bobby Moore raising the Jules Rimet trophy, he chooses a defining moment in our nation's story from each decade of the last century and explores its legacy today.

Some were glorious days, some were tragic, or even shameful, but each has played its part in making us who we are as a nation. From pop stars to politicians, Suffragettes to punks, this is a journey around Britain in search of who we are.

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Hope and Glory: The Days that Made Britain + Cider With Roadies + Pies and Prejudice: In search of the North
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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Ebury Press (9 Jun 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0091926483
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091926489
  • Product Dimensions: 2.8 x 21 x 13.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 227,295 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Stuart Maconie is a writer, broadcaster and journalist familiar to millions from his work in print, on radio and on TV. His previous bestsellers have included Cider with Roadies, Pies and Prejudice and Adventures on the High Teas, and he currently hosts the afternoon show on BBC 6music with Mark Radcliffe as well as weekly show The Freak Zone. Based in the cities of Birmingham and Manchester, he can also often be spotted on top of a mountain in the Lake District with a Thermos flask and individual pork pie.

Product Description


"He’ll be on the National Treasure list pretty soon"--The Times

"Magnificent… intensely readable"--Observer

"Completely beguiling"--Mail on Sunday

"Wonderfully enriching… Britain’s best loved travel writer"--News of the World

Book Description

Travels in pursuit of the key moments of 20th century that have shaped us as a nation

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've been a fan of Stuart Maconie for some time and have thoroughly enjoyed all his books, particularly 'Pies and Prejudice'. I wasn't actually sure he would ever better that effort but with 'Hope and Glory' he has at least matched it and possibly gone on a step further. 'As funny as Bryson and as wise as Orwell' is the Observer's verdict and for once this is no hyperbole. Maconie writes beautifully, he has created laugh out loud moments alongside moving accounts written with great poignancy. Some would describe Stuart Maconie as having a left wing agenda but really his observations transcend politics. He simply writes with enormous compassion and a thorough understanding of the human condition. From the Battle of the Somme to the National Front, the Suffragettes to Simon Cowell via Bobby Moore, Punk and a whole lot more this is history as it should be. Never dull, always entertaining, informative and full of lessons we should learn from. An outstanding book and certainly my candidate for the most enjoyable book of the year.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hope and Glory 21 July 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I love Stuart Maconie's writing; it is intelligent, intellectual, articulate and very,very funny. I like the way he spares not the idiocies of the present day, the "dribbling" television programmes, the culture of unmerited celebrity and the generally weary folk he meets. This book is a fantastic ramble through history, geography and his own subject of sociology.Be warned, though; this author can reduce you to tears.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another classic from the pen of Maconie 12 July 2011
What a great pleasure to see a writer grow with each book. I have now read all of his work and he just gets better. Perhaps it is his taste in music or his politics? Or perhaps it is just the humour and warmth that leap from every page, but I love his work. I cannot wait for the next installment. I have travelled every step of the way with the writer and felt the love in his subject. if you only but one book this summer please buy this
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable in parts 12 May 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have enjoyed Stuart Maconie's other books and his work on the radio. This, however, is a bit of a mixed bag. It reads as though the book was written and published in a rush.

Maconie sets up each chapter with a quote about a particular year. He soon wanders a long way from this quote - usually but not always - telling the reader of his travels. His travels are the best part of the book. He seems most comfortable and most readable when he is meeting owners of cafes and eating teacakes. He illuminates the 'ordinary' person. Early chapters are very readable, although the writer tends to write more about the north of England than any other parts of Britain. He misses out Scotland altogether and has very little to say about the history of Wales.

About midway through, the book looses direction. There is a huge chapter on football with the sort of commentary that you hear from certain sorts of young football enthusiasts on the train from Cardiff to London. For the person who has no interest in football at all, this is purgatorial. I skipped most of it. After this chapter comes one that slips into a rant about the royal family. The trouble is that we have heard all of this before. The book is probably at its best when Maconie is almost invisible and at its worst when it degenerates into sociological jargon. In a book of this sort, we need to know less of Maconie's own opinions and leave the 'facts' to speak for themselves. It is also irritating when the author uses the book to let the reader know what Maconie has achieved.

There are numerous factual errors throughout the book and a lot of typos. Careful editing would have caught these errors before the book got into print. Generally, then, an enjoyable read but one that could have been so much better.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Glorious 11 Sep 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
Having really loved Stuart Maconie's last three books in which he looked at his obsession with pop music , what it means to be a northerner and the quirks of the British middle classes, I was a bit worried that he might have been running out of ideas with this latest one. The theme seemed a bit tenuous - pick a date from each decade of the 20th century and visit key places to find out more about the events that have shaped the Britain we live in today. I needn't have worried; Maconie's writing is as warm and funny as ever and he manages to make both earth-shattering events and mundane everyday occurrences equally interesting and relevant.

The events Stuart has chosen to illustrate the social history of the 20th century range from the rise of the Suffragettes, the General Strike and the emerging Trade Union movement to the arrival of The Windrush, the birth of punk and the landslide election of 1997 - all subjects which interest me so he pretty much had my attention guaranteed from the start. However, he also managed to keep me informed and entertained through chapters on mountaineering (the Queen's coronation and the conquering of Everest in June 1953) and football (England's 1966 World Cup victory). No mean feat I can tell you.

As he travels around in search of the people and places involved (consuming copious pots of tea and toasted teacakes in museum cafes en route), we are treated to the usual wry asides and insightful observations fans have come to know and love from his previous books. This description of the portrait of Prince Albert on display in Osborne House really made me chuckle: "Furthermore, he wears that expression of ineffable pain and weariness familiar to anyone who's just been told they need a new boiler".
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Not History, more incoherent rant
Firstly, the title is a complete misnomer. This is not a history of modern Britain, more a rather pedestrian travelogue crossed with a particularly witless polemic. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mr D A Jarratt
4.0 out of 5 stars An absorbing account of modern British history
Stuart Maconie has given a detailed and absorbing account of modern British history. As in his Pies and Prejudice he has researched the subject well. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Frances Maguire
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny and facinating
brilliantly written, this is a book to both inform, educate and amuse. Lots of stuff I thought I knew was fleshed out with some fascinating detail. I Loved it. highly recommended.
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Very good stuff - just not up to Maconie's best
I very much enjoy Stuart Maconie's writing and though I may generally not agree with his musical taste (though he did introduce me to Gentle Giant), I have a lot of sympathy with... Read more
Published 3 months ago by B. M. Clegg
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Another excellent Maconie tome. I listen to him regularly on 6 so this is as though he was reading aloud to me. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Mr. Paul Tarrant
3.0 out of 5 stars Hope and Glory:A people's history of modern Britain.
Hope and glory.
Mr. Maconie tells a tale about Britain, warts an all,that i am not proud about. Read more
Published 5 months ago by George Clandon
2.0 out of 5 stars Misleading title
I like Stuart Maconie's style of broadcasting and writing, sense of humour and in general, taste in music. Read more
Published 9 months ago by John Charles Harris
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read
A though provoking and inspirational read about events that happened and shaped life in this country. Well written and punctuated with witty observations from the author
Published 10 months ago by Mr Ian J Arnold
5.0 out of 5 stars At last a history book with just the interesting bits in
Excellent service, quick delivery very good condition.
Very enjoyable book, Mr Maconie is up there now rubbing shoulders with Bill Bryson. Read more
Published 15 months ago by ken lamb
5.0 out of 5 stars Hope & Glory
Great read, really interesting and funny. Paticularly liked the chapter from the 40's where Stuart explores Enoch Powell's old constituency. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Joe Lowry
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