72 of 78 people found the following review helpful
Reasonable 'journalistic' overview, but how many typos!?!,
This is an enjoyable, easy-to-read overview of postwar Britain but Marr does seem to get away with some shockingly wooly points that would have caused my history teacher's red pen to run out of ink!
The first chapters, about Britain's politics immediately after WW2 up to the 60s I thought were excellent, but as soon as he gets into economics, pop music etc it does become pretty sloppy tabloid generalisation. As a typical upper-middle class BBC journo and well-known chum of Gordon Brown he's also painfully PC, especially jarring in a history book, re. the unqualified good of multiculturalism, the NHS and welfare state, the liberal reforms of the 60s onwards etc. There's also a very sniffy attitude to the developments of business, the UK economy and consumerism.
Also it would be really useful in a future edition to occasionally include in the margins what year he's talking about. In an overview, thematic history it's very hard to follow exactly when specific things are happening, and Marr rarely gives any dates in his text.
Then there's the typos - I'm not that much of a pedant but I was seeing a glaring one every few pages! In a history book from a respected BBC journo this is really poor, and does make you wonder if some of the facts and quotes are in fact accurate, given that there was so little scrutiny in the editing process.
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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 19 Jul 2008 01:25:44 BDT
Paul Magnussen says:
Thanks for the warning; in my experience, a person who's sloppy in one respect will often be sloppy in others.
In reply to an earlier post on 28 Aug 2008 12:32:02 BDT
Sidney Cupp says:
Often not the fault of the author though, some authors are horrified at what publishers do to their work.
Posted on 18 Nov 2008 16:41:58 GMT
Last edited by the author on 18 Nov 2008 16:43:51 GMT
I also hate to see miss-spellings & typing errors, & hate to be pedantic here Readerbloke, but look at your first sentence - how do you spell 'woolly'?
Posted on 4 Jan 2009 14:49:59 GMT
Your review has been most helpful. I was going to order this book - but not now. Thanks.
In reply to an earlier post on 4 Jan 2009 14:57:26 GMT
Okay Wendy. Fair point. But, unlike the author, this reviewer shares his wisdom for free. And I am grateful enough for that.
In reply to an earlier post on 7 Mar 2009 17:35:29 GMT
S Ounsworth says:
Funny - MacAvity has replied to virtually every negative or unenthusiastic review of this book thanking the reviewer for putting him off buying a book he previously intended to purchase. Really? They all individually had that effect, but none of the positive ones swayed you at all? Marr-hater busted, imho.
Posted on 16 Jun 2009 22:55:30 BDT
Chris Jones says:
I agree about the typos. Page 24 tells us that Herbert Morrison "pootered around in a small car". That should be "pootled". In the prologue Marr speaks of "buzzing flywheels with broken teeth". Flywheels don't have teeth, that should be "cogwheels". I'm only on page 47 and already have spotted more than half a dozen bad errors of proof-reading, editing, and typesetting, and they do spoil the enjoyment somewhat.
In reply to an earlier post on 13 Feb 2010 20:48:49 GMT
Last edited by the author on 13 Feb 2010 20:52:05 GMT
Michael F. Freer says:
It could also have been "pottered around in a small car"! Also a flywheel can and frequently does have gear teeth at its circumference.
In reply to an earlier post on 30 Aug 2010 13:49:32 BDT
Library Dweller says:
"Pootered around" is a fairly common expression, at least in Edinburgh. It is perfectly correct. I've never heard "pootled about", though, and hope I never do. It sounds so twee.
In reply to an earlier post on 27 Mar 2011 22:16:24 BDT
Last edited by the author on 27 Mar 2011 22:19:44 BDT
Neil C says:
Wendy, as you hate to see misspellings, perhaps you shouldn't misspell the word misspellings!!! I'm sure Miss Spellings is a lovely person but she's nothing to do with spelling errors. Let he (she) who is without sin and all that...
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