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8 Reviews
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, stylish, balanced and highly informative
I feel at least one second opinion is necessary to balance the earlier, somewhat intemperate review. Peter Clarke's book is pitched at exactly the right level for the general reader interested in modern history - the kind of reader, indeed, for whom Penguin Books were designed in the first place. This account offers a comprehensive panorama of the Twentieth century, and...
Published on 27 Jan. 2009 by Hywel James

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sub-editors needed
I am afraid that my enjoyment of Professor Clarke's explanation of British history over the course of a tumultuous 20th Century was ruined by a 'plague' of typographic errors. I am pretty sure that Professor Clarke himself is not responsible for these errors and can only hope that Penguin or Amazon rectify them and re-issue the Kindle version of this book very soon. But...
Published on 28 Jun. 2012 by GM


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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, stylish, balanced and highly informative, 27 Jan. 2009
By 
Hywel James "Hywel James" (Devon, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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I feel at least one second opinion is necessary to balance the earlier, somewhat intemperate review. Peter Clarke's book is pitched at exactly the right level for the general reader interested in modern history - the kind of reader, indeed, for whom Penguin Books were designed in the first place. This account offers a comprehensive panorama of the Twentieth century, and pays as much attention to social and economic factors as to the political history of the period from 1900 to 2000. Given that politics is often covered in highly partisan terms, Clarke offers here a balanced and reasonable picture of the main personalities which most people will find not only convincing but also historically just.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 31 Oct. 2009
By 
Jeffrey Lehman (Market Harborough, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hope and Glory: Britain 1900-2000: Updated to Cover 1992-2002 (Penguin History of Britain) (Paperback)
I read the first edition, covering 1900-1990, before I knew very much about British history. As an American, I initially felt a bit lost, not having heard about corn laws, free-traders and such. However, I never found the book dull; it simply made me need to dig a bit deeper into the recent past before 1900, to put it in context. Even while getting over the initial difficulties of understanding, I was enthralled by this informative and interesting book.

After finishing it, I was hoping the book would be updated to complete the century. So I am very pleased to have found the new edition!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sub-editors needed, 28 Jun. 2012
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I am afraid that my enjoyment of Professor Clarke's explanation of British history over the course of a tumultuous 20th Century was ruined by a 'plague' of typographic errors. I am pretty sure that Professor Clarke himself is not responsible for these errors and can only hope that Penguin or Amazon rectify them and re-issue the Kindle version of this book very soon. But for these errors, I would have given the book at least four stars out of five.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 13 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: Hope and Glory: Britain 1900-2000: Updated to Cover 1992-2002 (Penguin History of Britain) (Paperback)
Superb analysis and wide coverage. One would query come judgements but Clarke is always stimulating.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 6 Nov. 2014
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This review is from: Hope and Glory: Britain 1900-2000: Updated to Cover 1992-2002 (Penguin History of Britain) (Paperback)
very good thanks
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Revives interest in that part of our history., 28 Nov. 2013
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B. Handcock (Somerset, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hope and Glory: Britain 1900-2000: Updated to Cover 1992-2002 (Penguin History of Britain) (Paperback)
I haven't finished it yet, but it has revived my interest in that part of our history, much of which I remember although probably at the time I did not realise the significance of many incidents.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good, 9 Oct. 2013
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This review is from: Hope and Glory: Britain 1900-2000: Updated to Cover 1992-2002 (Penguin History of Britain) (Paperback)
Prompt delivery and a very useful book. This book serves the purpose very well. I would recommend the book as well as the supplier
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16 of 47 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dull but necessary, 28 July 2007
By 
A. Tatton "Anna Tatton" (Leeds) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hope and Glory: Britain 1900-2000: Updated to Cover 1992-2002 (Penguin History of Britain) (Paperback)
Yes, the Spectator and the Telegraph rave about this book, but for most of us, who have to read it anyway as it's a core text on a reading list, we struggle to give it three stars. In fact the three stars it's getting is just in case any of the professors who have contributed to it and will be marking my work shortly might read this review and spot who I am. Anyway to cut a long story short, if you enjoy watching the History Channel (which incidentally in our house is called 'The War Channel') if you like Newsnight, Dragon's den, subscribe to the Economist and want to be a Merchant Banker when you graduate, then I suspect you'll devour it in less than 2 hours, and give it 5 stars here.
For me, it's a bit too much like nineteenth century historians would write about the twentieth century, for example on page 53 'Asquith stepped effortlessly into the premiership in 1908 and looked the part immediately'. You know what? I don't care about Asquith. That was under the 'Fiscal Crisis' by the way if that whets your appetite.

As it proceeds through the twentieth century it gets quite hilarious,as the book tries to stay up to date, almost as if the publishers want you to have it as a coffee table book and as if you'd pick it up to remember what was going on in 1992. So on page 414 there's a footnote 'It was not known that Major himself had had an affair in the 1980s with the Conservative junior minister Edwina Currie until the publication in 2002 of Currie's memoirs'.

It's not so much history as politics. The twentieth century is treated in the standard way of a progressively improving place with good chaps leading the way. Boring, turgid and ridiculous. And who, by the way, was the Metric Equivalents of Imperial Units Chart on page 6 published for? Some French metric historical political enthusiasts who might have picked up the book by accident? I wonder how many times the owners of this book have thought - ooh, how many hundredweights are in a tonne, I might pick up my Peter Clarke history text book to check?

I did like the prologue, where he looked like he was going to talk about interesting stuff like married women having 10 pregnancies, but actually the whole book is more like an instruction manual on prime ministerial mood swings and imperial heavyweights.
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