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4.7 out of 5 stars41
4.7 out of 5 stars
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on 27 October 2009
Very interesting and thought provoking, especailly in these contemporary recession times, as I found the historial information relevant to understanding how our society evolved from post World War II shortages and hardships, to our present self indulgent, materialistic status. A great alternative dose of reality television, that will entertain and uplift the more enlightened viewer.The presentation by Marr is excellent, a little dramatic in places, but this helps to lighten the current affairs subject matter and liven the dated, but interesting film clips. Definately recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 20 April 2012
Andrew Marr is up to his usual amazing standard of insightful, gripping, and thought provoking history packaged in such a way so that anyone can watch it and enjoy it. Watch it in conjunction with Britain 1945-2007 (Access to History)for one of the most bearable and productive A level history revision sessions you will ever have.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 25 January 2011
A fantastic series tracing Modern British History from post world war two to the first few years of the new millenium. Each episode deals with a spefcific time period and looks at the impact of individuals and events that have shaped modern Great Britain.

The episodes are as follows:

Advance Britannia - Covering 1945-1955
The Land of Lost Content - Covering 1955-1964
Paradise Lost - Covering 1964-1979
Revolution! - Covering 1979-1990
New Britannia - Covering 1990-2007

This is excellent and informative and I would recommend this as essential viewing in schools as it cover the history in a realsitic warts and all way and doesn't shy away from the nastier pieces of our past.

Andrew Marr is as ever an interesting writer and presenter of this series and makes the information interesting and at times humorous. I highly recommend this DVD.
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Andrew Marr’s stab in his ‘History of Modern Britain’ is a reasonable attempt at a history of Britain from 1945. Five one-hour chronological episodes seek to encapsulate the British experience from the end of the Second World War to the first years of the new millennium.

But there are problems too. For instance he does not really explain why Churchill was voted out in 1945, and his coverage of the Beveridge Report fails to place it in context of what went on before the war, thus failing to demonstrate how strong the need was for reform. Overall, Marr is quite even-handed, but I did take exception to his calling Margaret Thatcher (without a hint of irony) as “a saviour waiting in the wings”.

Given Marr’s background, the emphasis is largely on the politics and economics of the period; indeed, the chronology of each episode is largely framed in terms of general elections. But Marr also tries to cover the likes of film, fashion, and food – even the weather – but it’s an impossible task to cover all these decades in anything like a comprehensive way. Thus there is no mention of Beeching, no mention of Monty Python.

And given the politics, it’s largely a London-oriented series, of course, but Marr also gets out and about to the likes of Blackpool, Birmingham, and Liverpool – and across the Atlantic to Washington. Indeed, the American dimension was for me the most shocking, as Marr tells us how financially unfriendly the Americans were in victory, tying the UK to American purse-strings thereafter.

The series is short on statistics (which might be a good thing). Instead, combining a broadbrush approach with anecdotes and occasional nods to contemporary comparisons – for instance, Marr tells us Eden took the country into a war in the Middle East based on a lie cooked up in Downing Street – Marr succeeds in constantly maintaining the viewer’s interest and engagement. With the resources at his disposal there is much to commend in his use of archive film.

All five episodes have different directors, and some slightly different approaches to their presentation. This is probably more notable in the choice of music: the opening episode employs works by Stravinsky, Sibelius, and Shostakovich (why no Britten or Vaughan Williams?), whilst the 1980s uses the pop music of the time and features some well-chosen lyrics.

The series ends in 2007, the year of its appearance on screen. Marr talks about the new Scottish parliament and its possibilities whilst also telling us – a year before the crash of 2008 – that we are now living in a golden age, where “we might truly say, ‘We’ve never had it so good’.“ Which just goes to show that hubris is alive and well and that history never ends.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 20 February 2015
These Histories of Modern Britain are well worth watching. Andrew Marrr presents his subject in a a captivating manner which is compelling viewing. Strongly recommended.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 2 December 2009
Although I lived through much of this period I had little knowledge of what happened! Andrew Marr is adept at drawing out the important aspects of history and I wanted a permanent record for the next generation as well as for me. No doubt I shall watch it again and again. First class acquisition and the excellent Amazon service as ever.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 19 March 2010
An excellent series, but quite disturbing because it presents the hard reality of life and not as I remember looking through the rose tinted glasses of old age.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 1 March 2015
Lovely entertaining documentary, easy to follow but not patronizing. Would recommend.
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on 19 September 2015
How can you trust a journalist when he presents an incredibly one side account of recent times as objective fact.
You cant.
The series motors along with a history of the 20th century in the uk,it all seams mildly informative and reasonable
until we get to more recent times.
We get the incredibly heroic struggle of thatcher against the evil monster that is the unions,Citing union corruption and missing out on government corruption ,of course, because they're so much more trust worthy.
An now we bright shiny utopia because of the lack of workers rights ,pay rises(unless your a politician) and corporate greed run amok.
God bless maggie and her chief supporter ,the non journalist
andrew marr
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 29 November 2009
I don't know precisely how one comes to be called a 'national treasure', but Andrew Marr deserves the title. I have shown this series to my A-level students and they have become Marr fans en masse. Beautifully filmed, thoughtfully scripted, clearly explained, it gives texture and feeling to the events which shaped us. This is the BBC at its very best.
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