State of Emergency: The Way We Were: Britain, 1970-1974 Paperback – 26 May 2011
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Superb ... vivid ... magnificent ... Anyone who was there should read it: and so should anyone who was not (Simon Heffer Literary Review)
Hugely entertaining, always compelling, often hilarious (Simon Sebag Montefiore Sunday Telegraph)
Thrillingly panoramic ... he vividly re-creates the texture of everyday life in a thousand telling details (Francis Wheen Observer)
Masterly ... nothing escapes his gaze (Independent on Sunday)
Splendidly readable ... his almost pitch-perfect ability to recreate the mood and atmospherics of the time is remarkable (Economist)
There is so much to enjoy ... Neatly interweaving his interpretation of the Heath years with insightful reflections on everything from racism in television to the rise of self-sufficiency, football hooliganism and sex comedies, Sandbrook has produced a memorable portrait of Britain in an era of angst and upheaval (Sunday Times)
Sandbrook is an inveterate demolisher of myths (Independent on Sunday)
This epically enthralling account of the Seventies will be read with embarrassed recognition by those who lived through it and disbelieving astonishment by those who missed it (Independent)
About the Author
Dominic Sandbrook was born in Shropshire in 1974, an indirect result of the Heath government's three-day week giving couples more leisure time. He is now a prolific reviewer and commentator, writing regularly for the Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail and Sunday Times. He is the author of two hugely acclaimed books on Britain in the Fifties and Sixties, Never Had It So Good and White Heat.
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Top Customer Reviews
This is a combined review of Dominic Sandbrook's spectacularly good two-volume history of the 1970s. State of Emergency: The Way We Were: Britain, 1970-1974 covers the Heath years; Seasons in the Sun: The Battle for Britain, 1974-1979 picks up the story at Wilson's return in 1974 and journeys through the Callaghan years until Thatcher steps through the door of Number 10. Both volumes are excellent, five-star books; fascinating, highly entertaining and extremely readable. My only complaint might be that they caused me too many late nights; even though we now know the ending, the story is a political thriller of the highest order and `the next page' has an irresistible draw. `Seasons in the Sun', the second volume, is even better than the first.
At a combined 1450 pages of quite small typeface, plus notes and index, this is a wonderfully comprehensive account. The author has captured the spirit and detail of the time perfectly, which is all the more remarkable for someone not born until 1974. If you're old enough to remember all or part of the decade you'll experience nostalgia, regret or relief at its passing, mixed according to political taste.Read more ›
I really didn't know much about the three day week, about the miners' strikes, our entry into Europe or, well, much about the time at all (I was born in 1972). I do now.
This is great. If you have the slightest interest in the period, read it.
I particularly liked his fairness. Even as I reached the end of the book, I realised that I've no idea about his politics. That's not to say he lets people get away with things - all sides come in for criticism at some stage or another. But it's probably the best kind of historian to read, unless you know you want polemic. If you're wondering if this tells you anything about Scotland in the 1970s, the answer is no - as with lots of historical overviews, it's mostly about England, though because of the events of the period, Northern Ireland is extensively (and to my mind well) covered. But it's a very good general overview, particularly if you're looking for something to help you understand the politics of the crazy four years that was 1970 to 1974.
This is neither: a totally watertight, very gripping, beautifully described history of the first four years of the seventies. Every generalisation is accurately measured, every story elegantly told. Just enough period detail, just enough historical perspective, and you actually look forward to getting back to the grim years of 1970-174. A really astounding achievement. Can't wait to order the previous two now!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent read. Enlightening, and I can't wait to get my hands on the next instalment chronicling the second half of the decade.Published 11 months ago by Jimbo
Wonderful wonderful Wonderful . I lived through it & had forgoton lots . A wonderful journey back
Bought 'White Heat' and loved it so much I bought this three days later to read straight afterwards.Published 21 months ago by Arabella
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