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No such thing as social history,
This review is from: No Such Thing as Society: A History of Britain in the 1980s (Paperback)
Many more popular surveys of this subject are sure to emerge, so it is a pity Andy McSmith has claimed one of the period's best quotes for his title, but done little with it. A real sense of what 'society' - real or imagined - consisted of in the 80s does not emerge in his account. He is a journalist and paliarmentary sketch writer, rather than a social historian and it shows. His London/Westminster village perspective is all too apparent, but even this might not matter so much if he defined his period convincingly. The author's lack of interest in the preceeding decade and its influence on the 80s makes for a rather superficial account. For example, the 1970s miners strikes and 'Who Governs Britain' is not mentioned in relation to the 84/5 strike. It's a pleasant read, though, with some nicely chosen detail in McSmith's comfomt zones and will suffice until Dominic Sandbrook gets to the 80s.