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Our Times

Our Times [Kindle Edition]

A.N. Wilson
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Product Description


`One of the most important books of recent years' --Daily Mail

'A fine work of popular history, and the fact that it is consistently entertaining in no way obscures the underlying seriousness' --Literary Review

'A very funny, extremely opinionated, always provocative and often thoughtful read... Wilson is endlessly entertaining'
--Dominic Sandbrook, Observer


'A fine work of popular history, and the fact that it is consistently entertaining in no way obscures the underlying seriousness'

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2133 KB
  • Print Length: 498 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: B00FAM72AO
  • Publisher: Cornerstone Digital (30 Sep 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005I4D9NI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #208,348 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

A.N. Wilson was born in 1950 and educated at Rugby and New College, Oxford. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, he holds a prominent position in the world of literature and journalism. He is an award-winning biographer and a celebrated novelist, winning prizes for much of his work. He lives in North London.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One View Of "The Management Of Decline" 15 Nov 2010
I enjoyed this book of the history of our times. I say "our times" because Wilson was born in 1951 (5 years before me). As a read it is great almost all the way through. As history, it has some flaws, as other reviewers have noticed.

Wilson is unafraid to express very personal and very pointed opinions: Mountbatten as a rather stupid "elderly popinjay" with a taste for naval ratings; Nehru as the lover of not only Mountbatten's Jewish wife, Edwina, but Mountbatten himself; (Michael) Portillo as "a blubber-lipped bisexual" etc. His views are expressed in a way that might be called Swiftian, not often seen today.

I agreed with much of what he wrote, though certainly not all. That is not the point. The point surely is that here we have a sweep of contemporary history running notionally from 1953 though mostly from 1956 (the year of Khrushchev's Secret Speech, The Hungarian Uprising, Suez and, co-incidentally, my own year of birth).

There are huge gaps in Wilson's narrative, certainly. I saw little or nothing of the non-mainstream political parties (National Front, British National Party, nor even Militant, the CPGB or the WRP etc). There is nothing (though actually I applaud that, really) of sporting events, which may be the new "opiate of the people", along with pop/rock "music" and TV shows such as "the X Factor" etc.

Wilson makes a lot of points about the changes to political life and quite a few personal comments and observations about the various prime ministers.

Wilson devotes quite a lot of space to the Royal Family, of most of whom he thoroughly disapproves, because of their famed philistinism and boorishness.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Our Times by A.N.Wilson 29 Dec 2010
An enjoyable journey through British modern history from 1953 to 2008.
The range is wide covering political, social and cultural history. I read this book after reading the author's previous volumes - The Victorians and After the Victorians. I often question how you can be sure what exactly did happen in history; who do you believe and where did their information come from?
I wondered how many people were actually involved in writing this book. For example, on page 94 (2008 hard back edition) he correctly tells us that Derek Bentley was hung for a murder committed by his younger accomplice Christopher Craig but on page 183 we are told incorrectly that Bentley pulled the trigger and it was Craig who called out 'Let him have it'.
OK this is nit picking but, if such easily checked events can be incorrectly recorded, it makes one wonder about all the rest.
However, this is a broad sweep of modern history in a single volume and well worth a read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Damn good and (sometimes) damn annoying 11 Aug 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A N Wilson is a writer who doesn't mince words. This makes him a breath of fresh air when you agree with him, and a bit of a nightmare when you don't.

I share his views on the hypocrisy of the extreme left - they thought it chic in the 1970s to support Mao Tse-Tung, even though Mao murdered many more people that Hitler ever managed - just as I was cheered by Wilson's support for Prince Charles in the architectural debate.

For similar but opposite reasons, I could hardly continue reading when I got to the section on America post-9/11. A N Wilson may sincerely believe that suicide bombers are "maniacs" and "murderers" but this kind of language is not what you expect from a serious historian.

Meanwhile the neo-cons, whom many people think fit both descriptions, get kid-glove treatment. Either A N Wilson is not aware of the atrocities committed by the USA in Central America and South-East Asia, or he knows and doesn't care that much.

So I am afraid the charge of hypocrisy rather sticks to him too.

I almost fell off my chair when he extolled Tracy Emin, whom I have always felt was a nice person in possession of no discernible talent, and many people would disagree with his rubbishing of the Beatles, although not with his brisk dismissal of John Lennon's inflated self-image.

There is plenty of fun along the way though. It is worth buying the book just for the section on the bibulous adventures of George Brown.
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23 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Wilson easy read 22 Nov 2008
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
What you would expect from A N Wilson, an easy and sometimes humorous read of happenings of "Our Times"
All history is written from a biased view (and Wilson is no exception), would you expect a protestant historian to write on the Reformation in the same vein as a catholic writer?
Wilson in all his factual books makes the reader hunger for more information on some subjects which deserve more space and in depth research, this is not a bad thing; the bibliography is very good for making further queries.
One point, why do we have to have "Notes" at the end of the book? I much prefer footnotes on each page. The constant turning to the rear of the book can be a distraction.
As far as I am concerned a good book well worth the purchasing.
What now,is there to be a book from Wilson on the "Future" ?
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24 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A TRUE ICONOCLAST 1 Oct 2008
By Kennedy
This is the most absurd book of history I have ever read. Wilson is ruthlessly judgemental, sloppy with his dates, casual in his disdain for the niceties of 'proper' history, and his book is brilliant.

In his lucid, digressive style, Wilson delineates an alternately hilarious and devastating analysis of the major events - political, cultural, religious - in British life over the last sixty years. It induced in me convulsions of sadness, laughter, and anger, and I only wish other historians had the temerity - not to mention the learning - to deliver a book of this standard.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Sequel to After the Victorians, but not as good
Read this to sneer at AN or at his targets, as you will. He will be missed
Published 1 month ago by Simon Barrett 'Il Penseroso'
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Great read
Published 1 month ago by Iain K Grant
5.0 out of 5 stars A worthy and challenging read, beautifully written.
I really enjoyed reading this stimulating and thought provoking work. The writing is always informative, never becomes tedious or trivial and moves forward at a good pace. Read more
Published 14 months ago by M. D. Budd
3.0 out of 5 stars Controversial; but difficult to put down
Much to agree with here, and quite a lot to contest. A rather particular view of 'contemporary history', by a clever observer, with not all of whose opinions readers of his... Read more
Published 17 months ago by CJRufus
5.0 out of 5 stars OUR TIMES by A N WILSON
This book was well researched and obviously enjoyed. It was factually correct,and well balanced. A most interesting and enjoyable read, and easily digestible ! Read more
Published 20 months ago by paula dumbill
2.0 out of 5 stars A good read, but highly partisan and not history

I lived through most of this period and found A.N.Wilson's 'history' highly subjective, biased and somewhat annoying. Read more
Published on 8 Aug 2012 by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
I thoroughly enjoyed The Victorians and felt in that book Wilson just about got the balance right: history and opinion sitting easily together. Our Times gets it all wrong. Read more
Published on 18 July 2010 by Lewis Nene
3.0 out of 5 stars Wither Britannia?
A.N. Wilson is not especially intelligent. And he is a hopeless historian. His views on how history teaching should be taught in schools is revealing:

'What is striking... Read more
Published on 27 Feb 2010 by Sirin
3.0 out of 5 stars Good times, bad times
I enjoyed reading `Our Times', a romp through British history from 1953 - 2008.

And it is just that, a romp - don't expect any in-depth analyses or insightful commentary... Read more
Published on 4 Feb 2010 by Mr. T. Harvey
3.0 out of 5 stars Once Upon A Time
A N Wilson claims his book "is the story of how Britain had been a closed society and became an open one. Read more
Published on 19 Aug 2009 by Neutral
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