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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a full and concise summary- gets the balance just right
This is a useful summary of Britain in the twentieth century. Many authors would be tempted to narrow the study, and focus on political history alone. Kenneth Morgan, however, covers social history as well. Every chapter has a section on the arts, for example. In the hands of most authors this would mean that the book touches everything and explains nothing, but...
Published on 27 Dec. 2005 by Jeffrey Lehman

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0 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Useless read
I found this book coincise and oversimplistic. It does not help the student, and offers scanty critique for the scholar. Just about useless for my own academic purposes. Possibly, a good read for the bus. And very moralistic, I almost forgot!
Published on 5 Sept. 2010 by Professorpop


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a full and concise summary- gets the balance just right, 27 Dec. 2005
By 
Jeffrey Lehman (Market Harborough, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Twentieth-Century Britain: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback)
This is a useful summary of Britain in the twentieth century. Many authors would be tempted to narrow the study, and focus on political history alone. Kenneth Morgan, however, covers social history as well. Every chapter has a section on the arts, for example. In the hands of most authors this would mean that the book touches everything and explains nothing, but Morgan gets the balance just right.
There are things Morgan misses out that some readers would complain about. A good example is that the affair of Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson is mentioned in a single sentence, while many other books give a great deal of attention to it. It certainly was of great interest to the public at the time, and to this day. It seems, however, that Morgan merely touches on it because it has ahd little influence in the long term. Morgan also resists the temptation to chase irrelevant topics out of personal interest.
This little volume will be very useful for students of 20th century Britain. Students would do well to begin with a careful study of this book, using it as a touchstone to compare other sources. If Morgan does not mention a subject, theme or event, it is probably not very important.
Finally, the book is a good read. Morgan kept me interested from start to finish. He not only covers the most important events, but he gets behind them to an understanding of the spirit of the times.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Twentieth Century Britain, 2 May 2010
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This review is from: Twentieth-Century Britain: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback)
This book does exactly what it says on the tin. It (very briefly) discusses how Britain was on the inside during the last 100 years or so, organising itself into chapters that are mostly by decade (sometimes by topic e.g. WW2). Its topics range from politics (which is the most covered, mainly describing the past leaders and leaders of the opposition and, of course, what they did), economics and production, society (again, a large portion of the book covering issues of class, the sex revolution, equality and immigration), World War 1 and World War 2 (as seen by the government and by the layman), and everything worth mentioning (for example, science, technology, music and art of the decade) in between. Crucially, it not only discusses each topic as a separate concept but also how they're all intertwined with each other.

Overall, it's a fairly simple, easy to read book which doesn't assume any prior knowledge of Britain. It's a bit light on the ground but that's the idea; it should be a starting point to deeper reading of a specific area.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A micro-history., 25 Nov. 2014
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This review is from: Twentieth-Century Britain: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback)
A good short review of the major events of the century, presented with no discernible political bias. A longer book would be very welcome too.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I was there, 21 Aug. 2012
This review is from: Twentieth-Century Britain: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback)
... but not during the Miner's strike, so it is curious to read of a recent part of British History of which I have no personal experience. Inevitably one is tempted to take issue with the latter events, along the lines of 'yes, but, what about...' but broadly it accurately portrays it as it was. My largest criticism is that Morgan seems to have great difficulty with words when attempting to discuss The Arts, and resorts to such adjectives as 'vigorous', followed by name dropping. No comprehension thereof is shown.

It is also the case that when discussing recent history it is easy to fail to see the bigger picture, and some of the horrors of the present millenium already very much in evidence in the latter part of the last get passed over. I now, however, look back on the 80s as a golden age - less stuffy than the fifties but not PC-daft like the present. At the time I never voted for the Tories, yet now the idea of a Liberal or Labour government then seems by far the worst option.
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0 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Useless read, 5 Sept. 2010
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This review is from: Twentieth-Century Britain: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback)
I found this book coincise and oversimplistic. It does not help the student, and offers scanty critique for the scholar. Just about useless for my own academic purposes. Possibly, a good read for the bus. And very moralistic, I almost forgot!
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