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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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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.
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on 3 August 2017
Very good explanations of key dates/times in history.......excellent source material and very good clarity regarding subject matter....recommended....
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on 4 February 2014
I saw this book in Cardiff Airport. I didn't want to pay full price and the print was too small for me, so I bought the kindle edition. It is well written and interesting, giving quite a lot of facts throughout that I didn't personnally know. (Whether that is saying much is not for me to say). However, the author states that his book is 'the truth behind ten defining events in British history' which is a bold and almost impossible claim to live up too or to prove. I thought it got better as it went on, as facts nine and ten were within his life time, and he obviously had particular inside knowledge of the build-up to the Falklands War as he was a political correspondent for 39 years. Well worth a read.
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on 7 January 2014
Ever been had ? History cannot lie? Colin Brown shows that we need to think again. The contents are as attractive as the title!
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on 4 June 2016
Given the title, I bought this book thinking it might be amusing. It isn't, although that's not to say it's not a reasonably good read. It is basically a series of essays about ten different events in British history. I learned a fair bit about the events about which I knew little or nothing (e.g. Agincourt) but relatively little about the ones in which I was better informed, so am guessing that history professors will not learn too much here.
I paid £3 for it in a cheap book shop in Oxford, which is a pretty good price for something I'll read once from cover to cover, keep for a few years in case I/my kids ever need to know more about (say) the suffragettes and then donate to a charity shop in 5 years' times having never had cause to re-open it. Well written though, and worth reading at least once.
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on 19 March 2014
Plenty of interesting and well researched insights into truth or otherwise of some key events in our history. It's well written too! Enjoyed it and would recommend.
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on 8 April 2014
I enjoyed this very much mainly because it is funny while exploring serious matters. No one is safe if they are pulling the wool. It gives a new perspective on well known events. Made me want to now more about some things and confirmed my suspicions abut others. I thought the research seemed relevant and he was never downright nasty. Altogether very interesting and entertaining. I am keeping it on my kindle in case I have to disabuse anyone spouting or quoting from Magna Carta for instance.
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on 14 March 2014
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this and it was very insightful on its topics. The Author made very good links with the events of the past and it's bearing on us today. History is not all about facts, as Mr Gove needs to learn, but about reading between the lines and everyone will no doubt see different facets from the events which have been portrayed. I should like to read more from this writer.
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on 16 February 2014
I honestly can't praise Glory and Bollocks more. I bought it on offer but I have to say I could not put it down. I even arranged for a work colleague to not attend a meeting with me just so I could read it on the train! Well researched, funny and compelling! I'm off to find other books from the author and to apologise to my colleague : )
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on 28 June 2014
A very enjoyable read but I was disappointed at the author's treatment of 1940 which is apparently ranked No1. Why didn't he question the myth of Dunkirk as most British people have had it drilled into them? Living on the other side of the Channel now, I would really like to see this subject at last treated objectively.
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