If you're like me (never bothered studying history, have only recently started reading newspapers and becoming interested in politics) and have a vague sense of the political scene and are looking for a modern history book to fill you in, then this is probably the one you want.
Over the years I've soaked up a folklore history of politics (Thatcher vs. Miners etc etc) but never really known the ins and outs of everything from post World War II. John O'Farrell not only takes you through this fascinating modern history, but the dry wit of his comedy never misses the mark: every paragraph, at least, I was chuckling along.
But the greatest aspect of the comedy is how he can turn it off to go "But in all seriousness, pay attention for a second because here is my view on..." which he does a few times to great effect. He challenges commonly accepted views and media-created folklore (the dire life of post-war rationing, the 'golden age' of the 1950s, the 'swinging sixties' etc) to really make you think about what a privileged society we live in today, despite all of its ills, and for you to really think next time you hear someone say things were better in their day.
The chapters are well devised and structured (with great section headers throughout), and though it is written from a generally pro-Labour standpoint don't think it's all a lovey-dovey lefty stance. If you're a level headed person who wonders how on earth the current political-economic situation came around, then you'll agree with what's said.
If you want to know how on earth the Middle-East situation, or any other number of foreign affair issues, came about then buy this book and you'll be as dumbfounded as I was about just how the 'auld empire' gave its countries back to their people.
In short, I was looking for a mid-length enjoyable read to fill me in on everything from 1945-2008 so I could know our modern history before the next general election - and got exactly what I was looking for.
If you enjoyed the previous book (An Utterly Impartial History of Britain: (or 2000 Years of Upper Class Idiots in Charge)
) then you'll love this. And vice versa.