Top positive review
2 people found this helpful
entertaining and insightful
on 2 May 2014
Having history in bite size pieces allows this author to interrogate and drill down to specific, and arguably, iconic points in our past and in doing so often contradicts our general rosy hued view of them. This, however, is no dry intellectual exercise but a entertaining evaluation of British history through the lens of '10 defining events'.
As with other contributors on here I found the much of that much of the pre 20th century stuff had been covered elsewhere, especially with televisions current appetite for Plantagenet, Tudor and Georgian dramas and recreations. But, I must say that, I enjoyed the visits to sites like Runnymede and Tilbury and how the impact of the 21st century and the inevitable changes seem reflect our own distorted views of the events themselves.
However it is with the 20th Century that Colin Browns book really starts to shine. With his journalists eye, events that are still within living memory are analysed with some surprising results including the story of suffragette Emily Davidson which genuinely moved me.
At a point where we are reflecting on the causes and impacts of the First World War it does no harm to have a clear view of our history and see how easy it is to distort past events through the murky lens of public opinion and politics to suit modern needs.