A great review of a politically relentless period
, 3 May 2011
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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