A great review of a politically relentless period,
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This review is from: State of Emergency: The Way We Were: Britain, 1970-1974 (Hardcover)
I did wonder when I first saw this book how the author was going to fill almost 650 pages with such a short period of recent history. Therefore I should not have been too surprised when he kept going beyond 1974 to discuss relevant films, TV programmes and books; and whilst it all made perfect sense at the time I think it could rather take away from his next book that deals with the rest of this stormy decade. Still, for attention to detail and taking such a rounded view of the events that shaped that unhappy Heath government this book is up to the same high standard of his first two on the late 50s/early 60s and the mid to late 60s. Like many authors covering the 1970s he has a certain amount of sympathy with Edward Heath, although he underlines his many flaws. It is more difficult to work out where he stands with the miners who had such an impact on this short period. Overall the book is a very enjoyable read, spending a lot of time on the conflict in Northern Ireland, football hooligalism, racism and feminism. Plus the cheerless years of the Heath government are meticulously covered. A great book, but I would have been slightly happier had he confined the more cultural issues to the years in question.
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Initial post: 16 May 2011 14:09:30 BDT
S. M. Saunders says:
"A great book, but I would have been slightly happier had he confined the more cultural issues to the years in question."
I agree with A P Wall here, the author continually goes beyond 1974 (supposedly the book's cut-off date) when describing social and cultural Britain. This would be OK if the book were a one-off, but as we know, the series will continue with another book covering 1974-79. He really ought to stick to the years in question.
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