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on 21 January 2002
The subtitle of this book boasts its partisan leanings: 'A prejudiced history of Britain'. And this is certainly not an impartial work of scholarship. But for such an entertaining and personal work, it presents a surprisingly balanced picture. Hattersley is clear sighted in his analysis of the failings of post war Labour governments The balance does fall apart towards the end, as we move into the era of Tony Blair and New Labour. Hattersley clearly has no sympathy for the shifts of policy that have put him to the left of the party! And for such a personal work, it is strange that he makes no mention of his own role in the Labour Party. Indeed, in at least two places, he goes through verbal cartwheels to avoid mentioning his own name. Overall, this is a good, entertaining, read with some sharp insights.
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on 5 January 2001
The subtitle of this book boasts its partisan leanings: 'A prejudiced history of Britain'. And this is certainly not an impartial work of scholarship. But for such an entertaining and personal work, it presents a surprisingly balanced picture. Hattersley is clear sighted in his analysis of the failings of post war Labour governments The balance does fall apart towards the end, as we move into the era of Tony Blair and New Labour. Hattersley clearly has no sympathy for the shifts of policy that have put him to the left of the party! And for such a personal work, it is strange that he makes no mention of his own role in the Labour Party. Indeed, in at least two places, he goes through verbal cartwheels to avoid mentioning his own name. Overall, this is a good, entertaining, read with some sharp insights.
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on 20 October 2013
I had recently read Roy Hattersley's history of the inter-war years (1919 - 1939) so this was a logical successor. At present I am about halfway through, and enjoying it.

It's a good read, well laid out and quite informative. Although Roy calls it a 'prejudiced history' his own standpoint isn't (in my opinion) obtrusive; and anyway I probably agree with more of his 'prejudices' than I object to!

One area I did feel was poorly covered was the attitude of the UK governments and political classes to the imposition of client regimes in Central and Eastern Europe by the Soviet Union. Not only did this fundamentally affect Europe for the 50 years he takes as his title, the surges of Polish and other refugees into the UK had a significant impact domestically too.

However it is definitely a good overall guide to the politics of the period concerned.
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