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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "A past so recent it blurs into nowness ".
It could be argued that with it still being 2009 and all that it is too early to be publishing an overview of the decade we are still living through - the one given the silly sounding moniker the noughties. ( though I ,m jiggered if I could come up with a better phrase) For as the author puts it "This book is about the past albeit( as I write) a past so recent that the...
Published on 30 Oct 2009 by russell clarke

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Pointless and superficial today, but potentially scintillating a decade from now
It's hard to truly judge this book at this moment in time. It's not really designed to be read now. It will only become worthwhile when you uncover it from the bottom of a wardrobe a decade or so from now. Then it will be a fascinating period piece. Although it tells us what we already know with no new insights or great flair, and it's superficial and insultingly...
Published on 4 Nov 2009 by BS on parade


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "A past so recent it blurs into nowness "., 30 Oct 2009
By 
russell clarke "stipesdoppleganger" (halifax, west yorks) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Noughties 2000-2009: A decade that changed the world (Paperback)
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It could be argued that with it still being 2009 and all that it is too early to be publishing an overview of the decade we are still living through - the one given the silly sounding moniker the noughties. ( though I ,m jiggered if I could come up with a better phrase) For as the author puts it "This book is about the past albeit( as I write) a past so recent that the edges blur imperceptibly into nowness without us being able to distinguish the difference ".
Ignoring that though and judging the book on it's written merits I thoroughly enjoyed Tim Footman's book .which covers the massively imperative with the more flippant and trivial ( or so it would seem) but treats all subjects with wit, erudition and due consideration. So he flips from the millennium bug to the dome ( a vast polyester tent ") 9/11 to the war on terror ( of which he asks "how can you wage war on an abstract concept ?") environmental concerns, the democratisation brought about by the internet, the credit crunch , surveillance erosion of privacy and civil liberties , shopping and consumerism as placebo , the rise of China as a global super power, reality TV and by dint of that Susan Boyle and Jade Goody .
It is also a useful pointer for books and films relevant to the subjects covered .He even covers his five "Records " that summarize the decade. "Hallelujah "Hallelujah by Alexandra Burke is one which at first seems odd but then makes perfect sense and I'm with him 100% about John Cales version being the best. It may seem ridiculous to discuss 9/11( he raises the point that America needs enemies and after the thawing of the cold war 9/11 gave "The American Superman a few Lex Luthers to take the blame ") in the same book as Jade Goody ("Her special quality was her own her own exceptional mediocrity ") but both figured hugely in the decade , though one could wish fervently neither had.
The book is fairly concise , less than 200 pages , and some might wish for a more in-depth analysis like the book about Britain in the seventiesWhen the Lights Went Out: Britain in the Seventies .But as it is Tom Footman does a good job in defining the decade where styles stood still ( He makes a point about comparing fashions at either end of decades and it's true. The 60,s/70,s 80,s even the 90,s saw immense transformations ..but not the noughties. Is it because we now live a more introverted lifestyle on our computers/ game boys / I -pods etc? ....hmmmm) He is a bit sniffy, snobbish even, about Amazon reviews "The reviews on Amazon are as powerful an argument against democracy as you could find "(He is quoting someone else here actually but it's rather ironic given that this book has been encouraged to receive reviews) His conclusion that the two defining themes of this decade are technology and fear are hard to discount but it is also the fact we have so much information so readily available but are we making the most of it ? It would seem many questions about the noughties remain to be answered and the definitive book on the decade therefore remains to be written ..
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Pointless and superficial today, but potentially scintillating a decade from now, 4 Nov 2009
This review is from: The Noughties 2000-2009: A decade that changed the world (Paperback)
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It's hard to truly judge this book at this moment in time. It's not really designed to be read now. It will only become worthwhile when you uncover it from the bottom of a wardrobe a decade or so from now. Then it will be a fascinating period piece. Although it tells us what we already know with no new insights or great flair, and it's superficial and insultingly obvious, years later after all the details have been long forgotten it will be a treasure trove of interesting information.

For the reader of today it's a smooth if uninspired read that quickly descends into just a list of movies and books you might want to check out. Also the footnotes are annoying as they're at the end of the book instead of at the bottom of the page. A strange design decision.

I wouldn't recommend the book but perhaps one day it will be an interesting read. One for people who are good at delaying gratification. Today 2 stars (it's readable and is mostly harmless), perhaps 5 stars a lot of years from now.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Decade Misunderestimated?, 1 Nov 2009
By 
Mr. M. A. Reed (Argleton, GB) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Noughties 2000-2009: A decade that changed the world (Paperback)
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No matter how you try, you can't examine the Decade That Didn't Know What To Call Itself without also reflecting on the changes within yourself as a person over those ten years. Tim Footman tries not map the decade in terms of historical events, even though those events shaped the decade, but in the level of change, the evolution of the emotional temperature of the decade, and for this, does so admirably, accessibly, and easily. The decade moved so fast, and all of us lived through it so much that now, as we near its end - but there is still time yet to go - that it is not so much a history book, but a recollection of the recent past, close my eyes and this is yesterday, we are still there, I still remember the smallest details from the start of the decade. In this book, the context and the culture of the decade is explored and explained, tiny details made clear for the big effect that they have had, and the decade so confused that it might never make sense made at least, a little clearer.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From Osama to Obama, and all points in between, 2 Oct 2009
By 
Nicholas Pegg - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Noughties 2000-2009: A decade that changed the world (Paperback)
When all is said and done, what is a decade but an arbitrary period of time whose beginning and end are dictated by the fact that we happen to have evolved with ten fingers on which to count off our summers and winters? At the outset of this excellent book, Tim Footman sensibly reminds us that our popular perception of 'the 1960s' - the Beatles, Carnaby Street, mini-skirts and flower power - didn't begin tidily on 1 January 1960, any more than it ended neatly on 31 December 1969. If anything the Noughties offer an even more nebulous proposition, and towards the end of his book Footman proposes that their cultural boundaries might best be marked not by two firework parties ten years apart, but by the collapse of the Twin Towers on 11 September 2001 and the fall of Lehman Brothers almost exactly seven years later. A short decade, but an eventful one.

Footman writes crisply and incisively on everything from the birth of al-Qaeda to the death of Jade Goody, and navigates between his chosen landmarks with admirable dexterity. He is consistently both entertaining and earnest, but there's nothing either lofty or flippant about his arguments: a fundamental point reiterated throughout is that the Noughties saw an unprecedented democratization of culture, and thus it is in Footman's book, in whose pages Lily Allen, Paris Hilton and Dan Brown take their places alongside Jean Baudrillard, Richard Dawkins and Michel Houellebecq in the post-millennial dance.

Intelligently, persuasively and with the driest of wit, Footman calmly joins the dots between such apparently disparate phenomena as the millennium bug, the 'war on terror', YouTube, climate change, Susan Boyle, surveillance, misery memoirs, globalization, MP3s, the Beijing Olympics, the credit crunch, Barack Obama, and countless points in between, methodically building up a coherent portrait of the aspirations and anxieties that have fuelled this most incoherent of times: what Footman describes in his conclusion as a 'mixed-up kid of a decade'. In another ten years' time, the benefit of hindsight will allow Footman, if he wishes, to write another and perhaps quite different book about the Noughties. In the meantime, he has successfully tidied the mixed-up kid's bedroom and provided us with an invaluable primer to a bewildering, exciting and fascinating decade.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this book for what you missed, not what you remember, 11 Nov 2009
By 
Z. Skoulding - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Noughties 2000-2009: A decade that changed the world (Paperback)
I knew Tim Footman many years ago when we were both students in Exeter (a town which I am interested to learn from his book has the most homogenized high street in Britain). We've hardly been in touch since, so it was a real pleasure to catch up on a decade through the eyes of someone who's still as witty and assured as I remember him being then.

But how can anyone be assured about the global chaos of the past decade? And is this necessarily even desirable? Footman's blog is a thoughtfully responsive commentary on culture and current affairs, but it benefits from not having to give an overview of anything. The shape of a book, on the other hand, demands a coherent narrative structure that is in some ways at odds with the postmodern fracturing of society that he traces here. Impressively, he makes sense of this paradox: identifying two key strands, fear and technology, he focuses the book on UK cultural experience, as influenced by the USA and a complex array of global relationships.

For Footman, the decade is defined by the political conditions created in September 2001 and destroyed by the economic collapse of 2008. Everything in between - the growth of Web 2.0, reactions to terrorism, the increasing strangeness of celebrity - is in some ways momentous, yet in others banal, and characterized overall by a sense of emptiness. He's good on zeitgeist, while acknowledging that in the 'long tail' of fractured cultural experience such a phenomenon is hard to pin down. I don't recognize my own experience in much of this book - living in post-devolution Wales I've certainly been more aware of connections within Europe than he has. However, the difference in perspective is a good reason to read it: The Noughties is informative on the background to developments in digital media, for example, of which I was only hazily aware. Reading it won't fill in all the gaps in your knowledge but might, usefully, show you where some of them are.

The conclusion is engagingly modest about the extent to which anyone can really offer a summary of a decade - this book offers a personal and partial view, opinionated in the liveliest sense like the best kind of conversation with a friend. Put it on your Christmas list now.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You can't rush proper history., 7 Nov 2009
By 
AlanMusicMan (North Cornwall) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Noughties 2000-2009: A decade that changed the world (Paperback)
It's always said that journalism is the first draft of history. Well, it could be construed that Tim Footman is here trying to write the 2nd draft - something that usually happens at a greater remove from the events described. Does it work? Well, kind of. I'd prefer to recommend this book to you as a "News Review" of the years 2000 to now.

For me one of the most satisfying things about reading history (or watching comparatively modern history on TV) is that you get to see how things turned out, or what effect they had: Here, Tim constantly struggles with the fact that we don't know the resolutions of many of the events and changes he describes (or even if there ever WILL be resolutions of them). That means the book has to settle for recounting the changes or events and providing what little historical perspective is yet possible on them.

This works better on some stories than others. For example, he neatly (and rightly) portrays the "Millennium bug" as being a fear uncertainty and doubt bubble. I saw from the inside how that was deliberately inflated by the business consultancy companies. It was a bubble that burst ten minutes into the new century, it cost us all quite a lot of money and it's something that nobody has ever really been held accountable for.

However, other noughties stories respond less well to this treatment. In regards to the terrorism triggered invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, the history that can, thus far, be written is bound to lack any conclusion or definite outcome.

So, if you read this book as a news review of the last ten years, and regard any worthwhile historical analysis as a bonus, or mere speculation on Tim's part, then I think you will find this an enjoyable read. It's well written, pop-culturally literate and entertaining.

If you're looking for an intellectually rigorous and finely argued history of the Noughties, well you're going to have to wait - probably at least 20 years. You can't rush proper history!

Alan T
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I found this book very interesting, 7 Nov 2009
By 
Stephen Luff "Stephen L" (Worthing, Sussex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Noughties 2000-2009: A decade that changed the world (Paperback)
Not being one to buy a book of this type, I was pleasantly surprised how easy it was to read. The book covers a lot of areas that personally I feel might not go into a history book but do shape a generation. In fact I feel the book reveals a lot of areas that shape across several generations.
Tim has a sharp insight into how to express his thoughts. I would consider myself an avid ready of non-fiction but my field of reading has been limited.

A book like this is something to trigger me off in a new direction of reading. He recommends several books in this volume so it should be easy enough to pick up on any of them.

I felt the chapter on the impact globally of the collapse of the twin towers was a stand out chapter for me. Also to understand that someone described the images as savagely beautiful. A visual work of art. As the author points out if the images were so ugly why did we watch it over and over again? I know for me it was the shock of it. Is what I'm watching really real? Did this just happen? It was truly shocking. Each time it played on the news I kept staring at it.

This event shapes us to today. It may be in the back of the mind but it certainly kick-started the noughties with a bang.

I also liked the observations that America lost its lex luther bad a**e. In fact a comment made by a soviet foreign policy advisor called Georgi Arbatov had commented on the US losing of the communist enemy 'we are doing the worst thing to you; we are depriving you of an enemy'.

I have to admit at one stage I was buying magazines and reading about celebrities. Most sad. Fortunately I now know I must deliver on my own life to its fullest that I can, year by year. So that kind of influence is worth commenting on in a book like this because it has had a very strong influence on our younger generation. Its so much easier to watch someone else get their life going or ruined rather than take one's own life into their hands. Perhaps this is a new movement for people. Perhaps this celeb obsession has run its course. As I get my own life going in the right direction I just have no interest in this stuff any more.

The massive explosion of information at our fingertips means that for most of us we have had to fight off a lot of this non-essential information to see where we should be going with our own.

Gadgets are another thing. I own an HTC Hero Sim Free Android Smartphone Its just is awesome. I had a netbook but found after time it was too heavy. As a user of the internet daily for pleasure and business I wanted something a lot lighter. Even I was surprised just how much I can do on this little phone. I would say I managed to do 90% of what I was doing on the netbook.

Is this history though? Tim does say its not really a book on history. Its certainly a book about describing the world around us right now and how it impacts us directly and indirectly. Its getting right into our homes, personal belongings, thoughts, everywhere. Its shaping how we think and a lot of how we feel. The comments on feeling lost after the 'cold war' ended was really interesting. Oh so what now? It certainly wasn't clear.

For instance I was thinking the other day it would be great to choose political groups to represent the different parts of govt policy that interest me. Perhaps a list of no more than ten issues, represented by the best or the ones that I prefer. Instead we have only a choice of one party to do it all for us. How is that ever going to work? So its sort of like a collective of specialised groups somehow brought together to run their specialist areas. Green, Funding allocation, Energy, Foreign policy etc.

This book covers Art, Music, Cinema as well. So these are things that interest a lot of people. Not everyone is interested in historical battle dates. Influence and shaping this is really interesting. If its pointed out as it is in this book one can embrace or reject.

So as much as we are overloaded with too much information, sometimes we break the hold this has on us to numb us to a standstill. I think for me this book can do that.

Those that rarely read anything other than celeb magazines might find this a very interesting read. Its a good cross-over book. I can think of a few of the people in my circle that would not ordinarily even show an interest in these things find this book an easy digestible read.

Each chapter stands on its own very well. Its as if it could appear in a newspaper article all by itself. Yet with them grouped together one can see how there is this thread running through it.

I can see how Artists can take a lot from this decade and create something that brings the subject to our attention.

Stephen Luff. Creator of Beginner Tai Chi [DVD]
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Curate's Egg, 30 Oct 2009
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This review is from: The Noughties 2000-2009: A decade that changed the world (Paperback)
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I found this quite a hard product to review, as my perception of it kept shifting. Firstly, there seems something quite a bit previous, attempting to write a perspective of the decade when it is still going on, though Footman wriggles out of criticism by pointing out that history can't really be wrapped up in 10 year packages anyway, to fit the decade idea. In fact, given the argument which was stated in 2000 that really the new Millennium wouldn't start till 2001 (as the Christian era was dated from year 1, not year 0) Footman posits reasonably that the decade could really be marked as starting on 9/11, and suggests an ending with the collapse of Lehman Brothers.

The early part of the book, where he dealt with 9/11 and beyond, and environmental issues was well written, thoughtful and interesting, albeit rather like something from the `for Dummies' series - - a Dummies guide to the Noughties, perhaps. And I don't mean that at all disrespectfully - the `Dummies' series is commendable for its ability to cut to the nugget of something in a clear, bare bones, un-dry kind of way, in an approachable manner giving facts and a bit of humour. Having grasped the basics you might then want to go on and examine in more depth. With that idea in mind, I found myself being impressed with Footman's book - until we got to chapters 4 - 9, dealing with the more trivial cultural aspects of the decade. There 5 chapters which could loosely be summarised as obsession with celebrity, solipsism and shopping. Certainly these are aspects of the decade, but to go from a world view to something so very narrow (the focus was pretty much on the UK) for almost half the book seems extraordinary.

I wouldn't have thought that in 10 - or maybe even in 5 years time much of this section will be memorable. Somehow the incredibly narrow geographical focus of this section already seems curiously old fashioned. There is a wider world outside the UK and even America, culturally.

And the triviality which is certainly A part (but not the only part) of the flavour of our times is perhaps stunningly in evidence in Footman's claims to `sex-up' the Noughties `a decade that changed the world', attempting to claim that the Noughties are a particularly significant decade - I assume because WE are living through them, and Footman has a book to sell!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Portrait Of A Decade, 9 Feb 2010
By 
DL Productions UK (Merseyside, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Noughties 2000-2009: A decade that changed the world (Paperback)
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The noughties were mainly a decade of self-obsession, with celebs playing up and people social networking like there was no tomorrow, feeling that we were interested in their muses on life, and what they were doing. This wasn't the whole story, and if you thought it was all about chavs and texting, then you're wrong, and writer Tim Footman sets out to document everything from Big Brother to credit crises. As you'd expect - there is a large section on 9/11, and well written it is too, but you also get chapters on the relationship with Bush and Blair, as well as looking at other stuff like climate change, reality TV, Web 2.0, CCTV and our obsession with surveillance and iPods.

This is a great book, Tim's done a lot of research and it is easy to read and makes it fun to sit down with - it's not overly addictive, you won't find yourself reading this at 4am - but you will like to look at this from time to time. He spends a lot of time looking at all the subjects in his book and it feels like a labour of love which is a good thing; so many people write and try to document a period of time and forget certain aspects, but Tim has his finger on the pulse and it shows, making this a great read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Read, 13 Nov 2009
By 
Coincidence Vs Fate - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Noughties 2000-2009: A decade that changed the world (Paperback)
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This was a good, entertaining book. As others have pointed out, it's not the thickest volume, so don't expect events from the 00s to be covered in too much depth. However, what is there is covered in an easy to read style.

Yes, the book IS heavily slanted towards American events and popular culture, but if you think about it, the 00s were full of American events and inventions from 9/11 to the iPod.

You won't want to read it again, but it was an engaging, if slim, look at the first decade of C21.
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The Noughties 2000-2009: A decade that changed the world
The Noughties 2000-2009: A decade that changed the world by Tim Footman (Paperback - 15 Sep 2009)
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