on 26 April 2000
This book has been a life saver to me. Norman Lowe has clearly and concisely dealt with British History in a way no other similar text even gets close to. His thorough but undoubtedly simple approach makes this book accessible to all levels whether a background reference for First Year Undergraduates or as a central text for A-level students, it is certainly not a book to be without.
on 1 August 2007
Even for a history anorak like me, I'm not often riveted by history text books and I'm delighted to say that with this I am - pouring over it at breakfast this morning. Other compulsory text books on the reading list don't come close. This is wonderfully succinct, manages to incorporate historiography, brilliant easy to read formatting with great headings, bullet points and numbered paragraphs. It's light on social and cultural history, but great on political history. Unlike Pugh's & Clarke's accounts, the latter period of Lowe's study has aged well - a good representation of the recent past (1990s) especially Thatcherism without pomposity (Clarke) or millennium silliness/poor layout (Pugh). The 50s, 60s and 70s do seem to escape Lowe somewhat -Feminism's not in the index -, and you do wonder if this exclusion in favour of 'the aims and achievements of Lord Castlereagh in foreign affairs after the Congress of Vienna -1815' was worthwhile, but I suppose we can't get everything in one book. The excellent simple layout just make this book easier to read so as an overview it gets 4 stars, one taken off for poor contemporary history, especially not mentioning Feminism.
on 13 May 2003
Anyone studying C19 or C20 British history needs this book. It lays out what you need to know clearly and simply, and its layout makes it easy to read and enjoy.
Should you be studying any of the subjects in depth, you would need other resources, (suggested at the back of the book), but as an overview this is excellent. It even has useful revision question for you to analyse and test your strenghts and weaknesses.
on 4 April 2006
This is an invaluable book, which describes concisely (but not simplistically)the major developments in modern british history. I found it especially useful for its coverage of C19th England. It was a fantastic study guide when I was studying for A Level history, and I would urge anyone studying this period to invest in this book.