Rejoice! Rejoice!: Britain in the 1980s Hardcover – 25 Apr 2010
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'Terrifically entertaining'(Daily Telegraph)
‘Turner does an excellent job in synthesising the culture and art of the day into the wider political discourse. The result is resolutely entertaining’(Metro)
‘Put[s] into cold perspective what at the time we were too befuddled with emotion to understand... Turner has produced a masterly mix of shrewd analysis, historical detail and telling quotes... Indispensable’(James Delingpole Mail on Sunday)
'Dazzling... Turner’s account of the 1980s is as wide-ranging as that fractured, multi-faceted decade demands ... deft at picking out devilish details and damning quotes from history that is less recent than you think’(Victoria Segal Mojo)
‘Among a host of recent books on the 1980s, Turner's stands out as comfortably the most entertaining’ - Books of the Year(The Sunday Times)
‘One of the pleasures of Alwyn Turner’s breathless romp through the 1980s is that it overflows with unusual juxtapositions and surprising insights... The tone is that of a wildly enthusiastic guide leading us on a breakneck tour through politics, sport and culture’(Dominic Sandbrook)
‘This kaleidoscopic history ... provides a vivid and enjoyable guide to these turbulent years. Ranging broadly across popular culture as well as high politics ... Turner brings the period alive and offers insights into both sides of a polarised nation’(BBC History Magazine)
'Excellent ... this trilogy is about the most authoritative account of the late 20th century as you are likely to get'(Choice Magazine)
About the Author
ALWYN W. TURNER is the author of Crisis? What Crisis? Britain in the 1970s, A Classless Society: Britain in the 1990s and the ebook Things Can Only Get Bitter: The Lost Generation of 1992, all published by Aurum. An acclaimed writer on post-war British culture, his other books include The Biba Experience, Halfway to Paradise, My Generation and Terry Nation: The Man Who Invented the Daleks.
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Top Customer Reviews
The political history is an excellent over view of a decade dominated by Margaret Thatcher,covering the Falklands War, the Miners strike, Wapping and the fatal error of the introduction of the poll tax in 1990.
It is good on music, showing how music evolved from political protest songs by the Specials and UB40 in the early 80's, through to Live Aid in 1985 and then to Stock, Aitkin and Waterman whose musical production line with songs by the likes of Kylie and Rick Astley dominated the last few years of the decade.
The author covers economic changes from the deep recession of the early 80's through to the rise of yuppies and estate agents by the end of the decade. I was a teenager in the West Midlands in the early 80's and well remember the local news being dominated by factory shut downs and redundancies as traditional manufacturing jobs disappeared and were replaced by jobs in retailing and financial services, this book is a timely reminder of those times.
Turner doesn't give us much in the way of analysis and the material covered seems to have been chosen for its approachability and entertainment value as much as for its historical significance. But then, to me, that didn't seem to be the point. I found it an enjoyable read, and thought it was written in a fairly vivid style.
You will read a lot about the Tony Benn/Denis Healy clash, the reminiscences of alternative stand up comedians, and the content of sketches from Spitting Image. There are also dedicated chapters on the media and trade unions, alongside more chronologically organised chapters.
The author has picked out the key events of the times, the Falklands, the Miners Strike, the rise of capitalism and the changes our society went through over the time. It's a thoughtful and balanced review, never too poe-faced or intellectually driven.The rise of monetarism or the decline of trade unions, for example, are seen as no more important than the rise of the television game show or alternative comedy. Perhaps a bit more focus could have been put on the growth of technology - after all, these were the years that saw the birth of the mobile `phone and the advent of desktop computing, which would revolutionise the next decade - but maybe that will be covered in the Nineties edition, which I will definitely be reading!
The book rattles along, powered by some choice quotes (especially one from Ted Nugent about Lady Diana) that can make you laugh out loud, although I did think that there was a preponderance in using certain authors or commentators - Kenneth Williams and Mark Steel spring to mind - when their must have been a wealth of sources to choose from. Perhaps this was the problem.Read more ›
The references to popular culture of the time - particularly music - blends in well with the narrative to take you right back there. I especially loved the references to Ben Elton - the high priest of political correctness. At the time, we thought he was an anti-establishment rebel. Turns out he was basically just a Labour activist. Contrast his rantings about Thatcher with his total silence on that terrible Tony Blair . . .
Great stuff. I'm now going to buy his book about the seventies. Fingers crossed its as good as this one.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An easy, accessible read, covering the major events and players of the time.Tends to skim over things, but that is acceptable in a book covering a decade. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Barbella
Took me a couple of chapters to get in to, but an enjoyable and informative chronicle of the years when I was too wee to realise how depressing it must have been. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Ms. IM Burton
Not as good as I was expecting. A bit heavy going to be honest. I have read A Turners book about the 70's (Crisis, what crisis?) which was a bit better. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Mr J graham
An accurate reflection of the decade and the destruction wrecked on the UK population by Thatcher's draconian policies. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Gail
It is a pleasant change to read a dispassionate, balanced and impartial view of the horrors of the Thatcher years. Read morePublished 18 months ago by P. H. Cartwright