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Rejoice! Rejoice!: Britain in the 1980s [Kindle Edition]

Alwyn W. Turner , Alwyn Turner
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)

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Book Description

When Margaret Thatcher became prime minister in 1979 she promised to bring harmony where once there had been discord. But Britain entered the 1980s bitterly divided over its future. At stake were the souls of the great population boom of the 1960s. Would they buy into the free-market, patriotic agenda of Thatcherism? Or the anti-racist, anti-sexist liberalism of the new left? From the miners’ strike, the Falklands War and the spectre of AIDS, to Yes, Minister, championship snooker and Boy George, Rejoice! Rejoice! steps back in time to relive the decade when the Iron Lady sought to remake Britain. What it discovers is a thoroughly foreign country.

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Product Description


'Terrifically entertaining'

(Daily Telegraph)

‘Turner does an excellent job in synthesising the culture and art of the day into the wider political discourse. The result is resolutely entertaining’


‘Put[s] into cold perspective what at the time we were too befuddled with emotion to understand... Turner has produced a masterly mix of shrewd analysis, historical detail and telling quotes... Indispensable’

(James Delingpole Mail on Sunday)

'Dazzling... Turner’s account of the 1980s is as wide-ranging as that fractured, multi-faceted decade demands ... deft at picking out devilish details and damning quotes from history that is less recent than you think’

(Victoria Segal Mojo)

‘Among a host of recent books on the 1980s, Turner's stands out as comfortably the most entertaining’ - Books of the Year

(The Sunday Times)

‘One of the pleasures of Alwyn Turner’s breathless romp through the 1980s is that it overflows with unusual juxtapositions and surprising insights... The tone is that of a wildly enthusiastic guide leading us on a breakneck tour through politics, sport and culture’

(Dominic Sandbrook)

‘This kaleidoscopic history ... provides a vivid and enjoyable guide to these turbulent years. Ranging broadly across popular culture as well as high politics ... Turner brings the period alive and offers insights into both sides of a polarised nation’

(BBC History Magazine)

'Excellent ... this trilogy is about the most authoritative account of the late 20th century as you are likely to get'

(Choice Magazine)

About the Author

ALWYN W. TURNER is the author of Crisis? What Crisis? Britain in the 1970sA Classless Society: Britain in the 1990s and the ebook Things Can Only Get Bitter: The Lost Generation of 1992, all published by Aurum. An acclaimed writer on post-war British culture, his other books include The Biba Experience, Halfway to Paradise, My Generation and Terry Nation: The Man Who Invented the Daleks.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 4229 KB
  • Print Length: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Aurum Press (5 Sept. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845137299
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845137298
  • ASIN: B007XVF68K
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #115,478 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great picture of the 1980's 15 Mar. 2012
This book is a very enjoyable portrait of the changes that took place in Britain in the 1980's, it works on many levels, political, social and economic.

The political history is an excellent over view of a decade dominated by Margaret Thatcher,covering the Falklands War, the Miners strike, Wapping and the fatal error of the introduction of the poll tax in 1990.

It is good on music, showing how music evolved from political protest songs by the Specials and UB40 in the early 80's, through to Live Aid in 1985 and then to Stock, Aitkin and Waterman whose musical production line with songs by the likes of Kylie and Rick Astley dominated the last few years of the decade.

The author covers economic changes from the deep recession of the early 80's through to the rise of yuppies and estate agents by the end of the decade. I was a teenager in the West Midlands in the early 80's and well remember the local news being dominated by factory shut downs and redundancies as traditional manufacturing jobs disappeared and were replaced by jobs in retailing and financial services, this book is a timely reminder of those times.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really Excellent 13 Dec. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book thoroughly. Wasn't too heavy a political tome, but managed to convey the right mix of serious political stuff that was going on and all the bad hair music pop culture of the time. As a late teenager in the early 80s it will always be my decade, and I can recommend this to anyone who ever chanted at Maggie, or danced to Wham. Whilst wearing legwarmers.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant read, especially for the 80s child! 26 April 2013
By Mr Pink
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a brilliant read, a book that is easy to read and full of reference to a decade that really did transform Britain. I went from toddler to teen in the 80s and watched as Thatcher and her government changed the very fabric of society as my parents knew it. From memory, there is very little that has been missed by Turner though there is perhaps little said of the technological changes during that decade, which in my opinion were many and fast paced. Turner writes in a particularly non judgemental style and simply records what happened from both ends of the political spectrum. Look forward to his 90s follow up.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Great overview of the decade and well-balanced politically, in contrast to Andrew Marr's similar books which were - although enjoyable too - clearly pro-Labour. Turner takes a more balanced approach in terms of Thatcher particularly, and doesn't shy away from pointing out the retorspective evidence that Thatcher was sometimes right as well as wrong. Makes me sound like a Tory - I'm not - its simply that a politically neutral book about the eighties is something of a rarity. But this at least is one.

The references to popular culture of the time - particularly music - blends in well with the narrative to take you right back there. I especially loved the references to Ben Elton - the high priest of political correctness. At the time, we thought he was an anti-establishment rebel. Turns out he was basically just a Labour activist. Contrast his rantings about Thatcher with his total silence on that terrible Tony Blair . . .

Great stuff. I'm now going to buy his book about the seventies. Fingers crossed its as good as this one.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Impressive 10 Dec. 2010
The task of covering a decade, with all of its complexity and multi-levels of significance, must be intimidating, but I was impressed by the way this book managed to contain and appreciate the key strands, politically, socially and culturally. For anyone interested in what made this decade so significant, this is an excellent place to start.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A light skim through the 1980s 26 Feb. 2015
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
More of a chronicle than a history, Rejoice! Rejoice! gives you a quick skim through some of the political and pop cultural events which loomed large in the media in the 1980s.

Turner doesn't give us much in the way of analysis and the material covered seems to have been chosen for its approachability and entertainment value as much as for its historical significance. But then, to me, that didn't seem to be the point. I found it an enjoyable read, and thought it was written in a fairly vivid style.

You will read a lot about the Tony Benn/Denis Healy clash, the reminiscences of alternative stand up comedians, and the content of sketches from Spitting Image. There are also dedicated chapters on the media and trade unions, alongside more chronologically organised chapters.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars thorough review of eighties 1 Oct. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Covers all aspects of life in the eighties - politics, economy, culture, entertainment, anything you can think of. Obviously, not everybody is interested in EVERYTHING, so I just skimmed some parts.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Union of the Snake 22 Sept. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The Eighties. What do you remember? It's a fair bet that what will spring to mind are things that will be covered in this entertaining history and overview of the decade as it jumps from the inevitable focus on politics to the more ephemeral flotsam and jetsam of contemporary culture. Pop music, television, art and literature are given as much space, almost, as Thatcherism. It's a very Britiish-centric account too, which is a good thing as it would be easy to place a big focus on Reagan or Gorbachov as the decade politically progressed. Obviously they get a mention or two, but always in the context of how their thoughts and deeds pertained to us in Little Britain.
The author has picked out the key events of the times, the Falklands, the Miners Strike, the rise of capitalism and the changes our society went through over the time. It's a thoughtful and balanced review, never too poe-faced or intellectually driven.The rise of monetarism or the decline of trade unions, for example, are seen as no more important than the rise of the television game show or alternative comedy. Perhaps a bit more focus could have been put on the growth of technology - after all, these were the years that saw the birth of the mobile `phone and the advent of desktop computing, which would revolutionise the next decade - but maybe that will be covered in the Nineties edition, which I will definitely be reading!
The book rattles along, powered by some choice quotes (especially one from Ted Nugent about Lady Diana) that can make you laugh out loud, although I did think that there was a preponderance in using certain authors or commentators - Kenneth Williams and Mark Steel spring to mind - when their must have been a wealth of sources to choose from. Perhaps this was the problem.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars An easy, accessible read
An easy, accessible read, covering the major events and players of the time.Tends to skim over things, but that is acceptable in a book covering a decade. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Barbella
3.0 out of 5 stars I quite often thought "That's scary. That's just like what's happening...
Took me a couple of chapters to get in to, but an enjoyable and informative chronicle of the years when I was too wee to realise how depressing it must have been. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Ms. IM Burton
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as I was expecting
Not as good as I was expecting. A bit heavy going to be honest. I have read A Turners book about the 70's (Crisis, what crisis?) which was a bit better. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Mr J graham
5.0 out of 5 stars An accurate reflection of the decade and the destruction wrecked ...
An accurate reflection of the decade and the destruction wrecked on the UK population by Thatcher's draconian policies. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Gail
1.0 out of 5 stars La Vue Depuis la Rive Gauche
It is a pleasant change to read a dispassionate, balanced and impartial view of the horrors of the Thatcher years. Read more
Published 10 months ago by P. H. Cartwright
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very pleased
Published 11 months ago by mrs m p ricketts
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
All good
Published 12 months ago by Ali
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 16 months ago by J A Law
4.0 out of 5 stars Well researched trot through the 80's
Heavy going at times but worth persevering. I know cos I was there as Max Boyce would say ! !
Published 24 months ago by iain
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent stimulation for memories of a dreadful decade
Very readable account of the cultural and economic changes. You know who was driving the political change but how did we let it happen?
Well referenced.
Published on 30 Oct. 2013 by Mr Muddy Paws
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