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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read, and full of detail.
Having enjoyed the author's Whitehall: The Street That Shaped a Nation I was looking forward to securing a copy of his latest, an engaging and well-argued trawl through 10 tipping-point moments in our nation's history. Neither fashionably dismissive nor blimpishly triumphant, Colin Brown uncovers the inevitable falsehoods but leaves the magic largely intact: Britons may...
Published on 26 Oct 2012 by Dilberto

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Not much fresh information.
Interesting book especially about king John and Churchill in 1940 but the rest was fairly standard stuff with very little fresh insight.
Published 8 months ago by Mr Geoff Richardson


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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read, and full of detail., 26 Oct 2012
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Dilberto (Deepest Darkest Central London) - See all my reviews
Having enjoyed the author's Whitehall: The Street That Shaped a Nation I was looking forward to securing a copy of his latest, an engaging and well-argued trawl through 10 tipping-point moments in our nation's history. Neither fashionably dismissive nor blimpishly triumphant, Colin Brown uncovers the inevitable falsehoods but leaves the magic largely intact: Britons may not be perfect, but we have an authentically great past. The wealth of detail and research is particularly impressive, so much so that the sheer readability of the finished book must be considered this author's major achievement.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NOT FOR EVERYONE BUT I LOVED IT, 17 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Real Britannia (Kindle Edition)
As history is my 'thing's, and I thought that I already knew much the stuff in this book, I bought it with modest expectations. I did Colin Brown a huge disservice. This book has ten, fairly lengthy, chapters, each focussing on a particular event in history that has had a profound influence on the making of 'Britain'. They run from 1215 right up to today and it surprised me that I enjoyed the post 1900 chapters the most, probably because I know less about this period than earlier history.
What really staggered me is the Stygian depth of research evident on every page, leading to a richness in story telling beyond anything that I can recall having the pleasure of experiencing before. This tremendous texture extends beyond the issue itself to encompass the people and places around that issue and is so accurately guaged as to always remain relevant and fascinating. We are often told that the only way to engage today's youth in history is to bring it to life and ' make it real'. Well, this book is no dry and dusty history text book. In fact, it's hardly history at all as, in every chapter, for me it was happening now, in real time, and I was right there.
There's something else that sets Mr Brown appart and that's his willingness to present all the facts, conjecture and speculation and then offer his own opinion. Particularly in later chapters, that opinion is extremely insightful and his lifetime of work as a political journalist and commentator delivers clear dividends. If this is how .all 'political jocks' can write, then I hope that more of them take it up.
Every chapter offered me fresh nuggets of interesting historical insight, even the section on Azincourt which is a specialist topic for me (I was so pleased when Bernard Cornwell made everyone aware that the battle was at Azincourt, not Agincourt) so which single nugget had greatest impact for me? It has to be the commentary on WW2 and the 2000 strikes held in a year of our greatest need.
This book isn't for everyone but I imagine that if your interest in history stops at bodice rippers, then you won't be reading this review anyway. But if, like me, you're not sure that it will have enough new stuff to hold your attention, then buy this now; immediately or sooner: you won't be disappointed.
Thanks Mr Brown, your five stars are richly deserved.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An inspiring read, 13 Feb 2013
This review is from: Real Britannia (Kindle Edition)
I found Colin Brown's Real Britannia a fascinating read. I enjoyed the inclusion of personal anecdotes of his visits to sites that were important to the dates under discussion. This isn't a dry text book but a highly engaging account of key periods of British history that I found myself quoting to friends and family. It has made me realise my knowledge of British history is seriously lacking and inspired me to read further.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Real history!, 16 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Real Britannia (Kindle Edition)
Colin Brown's account of what really happened on those dates that every school pupil is supposed to learn by heart is very readable and presents the stories in an exciting manner. He gives references so he isn't making it all up!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Geoffrey's thoughts, 4 Feb 2014
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I saw this book in Cardiff Airport. I didn't want to pay full price and the print was too small for me, so I bought the kindle edition. It is well written and interesting, giving quite a lot of facts throughout that I didn't personnally know. (Whether that is saying much is not for me to say). However, the author states that his book is 'the truth behind ten defining events in British history' which is a bold and almost impossible claim to live up too or to prove. I thought it got better as it went on, as facts nine and ten were within his life time, and he obviously had particular inside knowledge of the build-up to the Falklands War as he was a political correspondent for 39 years. Well worth a read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars something to show Mr Gove, 7 Jan 2014
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Ever been had ? History cannot lie? Colin Brown shows that we need to think again. The contents are as attractive as the title!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Facinating stuff!, 19 Mar 2014
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Plenty of interesting and well researched insights into truth or otherwise of some key events in our history. It's well written too! Enjoyed it and would recommend.
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4.0 out of 5 stars history is not quite how you imagined it to be, 8 July 2014
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good read
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 6 July 2014
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Well researched and entertainingly presented.
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4.0 out of 5 stars missed opportunity, 28 Jun 2014
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A very enjoyable read but I was disappointed at the author's treatment of 1940 which is apparently ranked No1. Why didn't he question the myth of Dunkirk as most British people have had it drilled into them? Living on the other side of the Channel now, I would really like to see this subject at last treated objectively.
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